Security

Adobe Flaw Won’t be Fixed For Two Weeks

Adobe has promised to fix a zero-day vulnerability which allows lets hackers seize control of users’ computers – but the patch will not be available till 11th March.

The zero-day flaw allows hackers to break into systems using Adobe Reader and Acrobat, by using malicious PDF files. Adobe officials say a fix for the issue will be available for Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat in the coming weeks.

Fixes to deal with the unpatched bug in Adobe Reader 9 and Acrobat 9 are planned for 11th March, and updates for earlier versions will come later, company officials said.

The bug is due to an error in the parsing of certain structures in PDF files. If exploited successfully, it could allow a hacker to take complete control of a vulnerable system.

“While the distribution of this exploit thus far appears to be targeted, new variants are expected as more information is made public,” the researcher continued. “As with the Conficker experience, the lack of good patch management is a very worrying trend that deserves more attention from IT security practitioners. Adobe is expected to release a patch very soon.”

In the meantime, security researchers at the Shadowserver Foundation recommend users consider disabling JavaScript. Symantec also recommended Adobe users keep their antivirus up-to-date.

“While we continue to investigate this issue, customers are advised to follow best practices and only open email attachments from people they trust,” blogged Symantec researcher Patrick Fitzgerald. “Enabling DEP (Data Execution Prevention) for Adobe Reader will also help prevent this type of attack.”