iDefense Security Advisory 02.08.08: Adobe Reader and Acrobat JavaScript Insecure Method Exposure Vulnerability

Type securityvulns
Reporter Securityvulns
Modified 2008-02-10T00:00:00


iDefense Security Advisory 02.08.08 Feb 08, 2008


Adobe Reader is a program for viewing Portable Document Format (PDF) documents. Acrobat is the program used to create such documents. More information is available at the following URLs.


Remote exploitation of an insecure method exposed by the JavaScript library in Adobe Reader and Acrobat could allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code as the current user.

Adobe Reader and Acrobat implement a version of JavaScript in the EScript.api plug-in which is based on the reference implementation used in Mozilla products. One of the methods exposed allows direct control over low level features of the object, which in turn allows execution of arbitrary code.


Exploitation of this vulnerability would allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code as the current user. In order to exploit this vulnerability, an attacker would have to convince the targeted user to open a maliciously constructed file. This file could be sent directly to the targeted user or linked from a website.

Insufficient error checking is performed on the input which allows, among other things, attacker-supplied data to be written to arbitrary offsets in memory, potentially resulting in arbitrary code execution.


iDefense has confirmed this vulnerability exists in Adobe Reader 8.1 on Windows XP SP2. It is likely that other Adobe products that handle PDF files, including previous versions of Adobe Reader, are also affected.


Disabling JavaScript in Adobe Reader or Acrobat will limit exposure to this vulnerability. When JavaScript is disabled, Adobe Reader will prompt the user that some components of the document may not function, and provide an opportunity to enable it.


Adobe released version 8.1.2 of Adobe Reader and Acrobat to address this vulnerability. Although there is currently no update for version 7.0.9, Adobe reports it does plan to release one at a later date. For more information, visit the vendor's advisory at the following URL.


The Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) project has assigned the name CVE-2007-5663 to this issue. This is a candidate for inclusion in the CVE list (, which standardizes names for security problems.


10/03/2007 Initial vendor notification 10/03/2007 Initial vendor response 10/26/2007 Request for status 10/26/2007 Status - Est. early January 01/04/2008 Request for status 01/04/2008 Status - Scheduled early February 01/28/2008 Adobe plans patch for 8, but not 7 01/30/2008 Concerns about the plan e-mailed to Adobe 01/31/2008 Telephone call to clarify concerns 02/06/2008 Adobe releases 8.1.2 02/07/2008 Adobe publishes APSA08-01 02/08/2008 Public disclosure


This vulnerability was discovered by Greg MacManus of VeriSign iDefense Labs.

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Copyright © 2008 iDefense, Inc.

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Disclaimer: The information in the advisory is believed to be accurate at the time of publishing based on currently available information. Use of the information constitutes acceptance for use in an AS IS condition. There are no warranties with regard to this information. Neither the author nor the publisher accepts any liability for any direct, indirect, or consequential loss or damage arising from use of, or reliance on, this information.