Adobe releases emergency fixes for two critical Acrobat and Reader flaws

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Adobe has issued emergency patches for a pair of vulnerabilities found in Acrobat and Reader that could have allowed an attacker to infect a user's device with malware and bypass admin privileges.

The developer published a security bulletin yesterday confirming it had detected the two bugs and released fixes, adding they were deemed critical because they could lead to remote code execution and privilege escalation respectively.

The first vulnerability could be exploited by lulling a user into creating a specific PDF file from which code can be executed remotely, which opened the possibility for attackers to run malicious software on a user's machine. The second bug, meanwhile, is a security bypass flaw that could lead to attackers gaining undue administrative access to devices.

They were given a category 2 priority rating, meaning they were deemed very serious but no instances of exploitation had been detected. The critical bugs were found in several iterations of Acrobat, Acrobat DC, and Acrobat Reader on both Windows and macOS.

These including Acrobat DC version and Acrobat Reader DC versions 2019.010.20064 and earlier, Acrobat 2017 and Acrobat Reader 2017 versions 2017.011.30110 and earlier. The bugs were also found on Acrobat DC and Acrobat Reader DC versions on the classic 2015 track, versions 2015.006.30461 and earlier.

Adobe has recommended that users update their software to the latest versions available as soon as possible, or within 30 days according to the developer's categorisation.

The company's widely-used Flash Player was found to suffer from a zero-day vulnerability in February 2018, after the South Korean Computer Emergency Response Team (KR-CERT) issued an alert, warning users of a zero-day vulnerability.

This bug, which Adobe allocated a category 1 priority rating, was said to give attackers the power to persuade users to open Microsft Office documents, web pages, and spam emails.

Keumars Afifi-Sabet

Keumars Afifi-Sabet is a writer and editor that specialises in public sector, cyber security, and cloud computing. He first joined ITPro as a staff writer in April 2018 and eventually became its Features Editor. Although a regular contributor to other tech sites in the past, these days you will find Keumars on LiveScience, where he runs its Technology section.