McAfee spots Adobe Reader PDF-tracking flaw

By | April 30, 2013

Source: Computerworld

Sec81“McAfee said it has found a vulnerability in Adobe Systems’ Reader program that reveals when and where a PDF document is opened.

The issue is not a serious problem and does not allow for remote code execution, wrote McAfee’s Haifei Li in a blog post. But McAfee does consider it a security problem and has notified Adobe. It affects every version of Adobe Reader, including the latest version, 11.0.2, Li wrote.

McAfee recently detected some “unusual” PDF samples, Li wrote. McAfee withheld some key details of the vulnerability, but did generally describe it.

The issue occurs when someone launches a link to another file path, which calls on a JavaScript API (application programming interface). Reader warns a user when they are going to call on a resource from another place, such as a link on the Internet.

If the external resource does not exist, the warning dialog does not appear, but the API returns some TCP traffic, Li wrote. By manipulating a second parameter with a special value, the API’s behavior changes to reveal information. That could include information such as the location of a document on a system “by calling the JavaScript ‘this.path’ value,” Li wrote.” Read more here.

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