The Most Feature-Rich PDF Reader Affected with a Critical RCE Vulnerability

Haythem Elmir

Critical Remote Code Execution vulnerability has been discovered in the most popular and most feature-rich PDF reader, Adobe Acrobat Reader DC.

The vulnerability has the power to perform a stack-based buffer overflow all the executing the orbitary code when users open the vulnerable Adobe document.This Critical RCE vulnerability affected the version of Adobe Acrobat Reader DC 2018.009.20044 and Below.

Albeit the reason anticipated as to why Adobe was targeted is quite simple to fathom it has a major user base, is the most prevalent and most feature-rich PDF reader and is usually a default PDF reader on systems and incorporates into web browsers as a plugin for rendering PDFs.

This most likely makes it substantially  easier for an attacker to send the specific crafted malicious document by means of an email or deceiving a user into visiting a malicious web page and influence the user execute the malicious document and trigger this vulnerability.Considering the Remote Code Execution Working Flow where the application bolsters the embedded JavaScript within the Adobe document and enables it to work as PDF form.

This could be hands down mishandled by an attacker utilizing the vulnerability for an additional attack surface.

When parsing a PDF file with overly large Document ID field specified in the trailer, according to Aleksandar Nikolic of  Cisco Talos, it is parsed correctly initially, but when it’s referenced in JavaScript, a stack-based buffer overflow can occur when encoding the bytes to a hex string.

Here is a sample document ID:

In this case, Cisco Providing a simple JavaScript to trigger this critical Remote code execution vulnerability.

 “the specified part of document ID field is hex-decoded into a sequence of bytes. When a this.docID is dereferenced in JavaScript, this byte sequence is encoded back into an ascii hex string again function at EScript+0x9e7c0”

Nonetheless this vulnerability has been reported to Adobe, patch has been made and released an update on 2018 -02-13 with CVE-2018-4901.

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