Multiple Vulnerabilities in Adobe Acrobat and Reader Could Allow for Arbitrary Code Execution (APSB19-02)

ITS Advisory Number: 
2019-001
Date(s) Issued: 
Friday, January 4, 2019
Subject: 
Multiple Vulnerabilities in Adobe Acrobat and Reader Could Allow for Arbitrary Code Execution (APSB19-02)
Overview: 

Multiple vulnerabilities have been discovered in Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader, the most severe of which could allow for arbitrary code execution. Adobe Acrobat and Reader allow a user to view, create, manipulate, print and manage files in Portable Document Format (PDF). Successful exploitation of the most severe of these vulnerabilities could result in the attacker gaining control of the affected system. Depending on the privileges associated with the user, an attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights. If this application has been configured to have fewer user rights on the system, exploitation of the most severe of these vulnerabilities could have less impact than if it was configured with administrative rights. 

THREAT INTELLIGENCE:

There are no reports of these vulnerabilities being exploited in the wild.

Systems Affected: 
  • Acrobat DC (Continuous Track) for Windows and macOS version 2019.010.20064 and prior
  • Acrobat Reader DC (Continuous Track) for Windows and macOS version 2019.010.20064 and prior
  • Acrobat 2017 (Classic 2017 Track) for Windows and macOS version 2017.011.30110 and prior
  • Acrobat Reader DC 2017 (Classic 2017 Track) for Windows and macOS version 2017.011.30110 and prior
  • Acrobat DC (Classic 2015 Track) for Windows and macOS version 2015.006.30461 and prior
  • Acrobat Reader DC (Classic 2015 Track) for Windows and macOS version 2015.006.30461 and prior
RISK
GOVERNMENT
Large and medium government entities: 
High
Small government entities: 
Medium
BUSINESS
Large and medium business entities: 
High
Small business entities: 
Medium
Home Users: 
Low
Description: 

Multiple vulnerabilities have been discovered in Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader, the most severe of which could allow for arbitrary code execution. The vulnerabilities are as follows:

  • Multiple security bypass privilege escalation (CVE-2018-16018)
  • Multiple use after free arbitrary code execution (CVE-2018-16011)

Successful exploitation of the most severe of these vulnerabilities could result in the attacker gaining control of the affected system. Depending on the privileges associated with the user, an attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights. If this application has been configured to have fewer user rights on the system, exploitation of the most severe of these vulnerabilities could have less impact than if it was configured with administrative rights.

Actions: 
  • After appropriate testing, immediately install the updates provided by Adobe.
  • Run all software as a non-privileged user (one without administrative privileges) to diminish the effects of a successful attack.
  • Remind users not to visit websites or follow links provided by unknown or untrusted sources.
  • Inform and educate users regarding the threats posed by hypertext links contained in emails or attachments especially from un-trusted sources.
  • Apply the Principle of Least Privilege to all systems and services.