Adobe Acrobat and Reader PDF File Handling JBIG2 Image Remote Code Execution Vulnerability



Date Discovered

February 19, 2009


Adobe Acrobat and Reader are prone to a remote code-execution vulnerability. An attacker can exploit this issue to execute arbitrary code with the privileges of the user running the application or crash the application, denying service to legitimate users. The issue affects Reader and Acrobat 9, 8.1.3 and prior, and 7. UPDATE (February 24, 2009): Further reports suggest that this issue affects the vulnerable applications running on Apple Mac OS X and various Linux-based operating systems.

Technologies Affected

  • Adobe Acrobat 7.0.0
  • Adobe Acrobat 7.0.1
  • Adobe Acrobat 7.0.2
  • Adobe Acrobat 7.0.3
  • Adobe Acrobat Professional 7.0.0
  • Adobe Acrobat Professional 7.0.1
  • Adobe Acrobat Professional 7.0.2
  • Adobe Acrobat Professional 7.0.3
  • Adobe Acrobat Professional 7.0.4
  • Adobe Acrobat Professional 7.0.5
  • Adobe Acrobat Professional 7.0.6
  • Adobe Acrobat Professional 7.0.7
  • Adobe Acrobat Professional 7.0.8
  • Adobe Acrobat Professional 7.0.9
  • Adobe Acrobat Professional 7.1
  • Adobe Acrobat Professional 8.0
  • Adobe Acrobat Professional 8.1
  • Adobe Acrobat Professional 8.1.1
  • Adobe Acrobat Professional 8.1.2
  • Adobe Acrobat Professional 8.1.2 Security Update 1
  • Adobe Acrobat Professional 8.1.3
  • Adobe Acrobat Professional 9
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader (UNIX) 7.0.0
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader (UNIX) 7.0.1
  • Adobe Acrobat Standard 7.0.0
  • Adobe Acrobat Standard 7.0.1
  • Adobe Acrobat Standard 7.0.2
  • Adobe Acrobat Standard 7.0.3
  • Adobe Acrobat Standard 7.0.4
  • Adobe Acrobat Standard 7.0.5
  • Adobe Acrobat Standard 7.0.6
  • Adobe Acrobat Standard 7.0.7
  • Adobe Acrobat Standard 7.0.8
  • Adobe Acrobat Standard 7.1
  • Adobe Acrobat Standard 8.0
  • Adobe Acrobat Standard 8.1
  • Adobe Acrobat Standard 8.1.1
  • Adobe Acrobat Standard 8.1.2
  • Adobe Acrobat Standard 8.1.3
  • Adobe Acrobat Standard 9
  • Adobe Reader 7.0.0
  • Adobe Reader 7.0.1
  • Adobe Reader 7.0.2
  • Adobe Reader 7.0.3
  • Adobe Reader 7.0.4
  • Adobe Reader 7.0.5
  • Adobe Reader 7.0.6
  • Adobe Reader 7.0.7
  • Adobe Reader 7.0.8
  • Adobe Reader 7.0.9
  • Adobe Reader 7.1
  • Adobe Reader 8.0
  • Adobe Reader 8.1
  • Adobe Reader 8.1.1
  • Adobe Reader 8.1.2
  • Adobe Reader 8.1.2 Security Update 1
  • Adobe Reader 8.1.3
  • Adobe Reader 9
  • Gentoo Linux
  • Nortel Networks CallPilot 1002Rp
  • Nortel Networks CallPilot 1005R
  • Nortel Networks CallPilot 201I
  • Nortel Networks CallPilot 600R
  • Nortel Networks CallPilot 703T
  • Nortel Networks Self-Service - CCSS7
  • Nortel Networks Self-Service MPS 1000
  • Nortel Networks Self-Service MPS 500
  • Nortel Networks Self-Service Peri Application
  • Nortel Networks Self-Service Peri Workstation
  • Nortel Networks Self-Service Speech Server
  • SuSE Linux Desktop 10
  • SuSE Novell Linux Desktop 9.0.0
  • SuSE Suse Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 SP2
  • SuSE Suse Linux Enterprise Desktop 11
  • SuSE openSUSE 10.3
  • SuSE openSUSE 11.0
  • SuSE openSUSE 11.1
  • Sun Solaris 10 Sparc
  • Turbolinux Client 2008


Run all software as a nonprivileged user with minimal access rights.
To reduce the impact of latent vulnerabilities, run the application with the minimal amount of privileges required for functionality.

Deploy network intrusion detection systems to monitor network traffic for malicious activity.
Deploy NIDS to monitor network traffic for signs of anomalous or suspicious activity including unexplained incoming and outgoing traffic. This may indicate exploit attempts or activity that results from successful exploits.

Do not accept or execute files from untrusted or unknown sources.
To reduce the likelihood of successful exploits, never handle files that originate from unfamiliar or untrusted sources.

Do not follow links provided by unknown or untrusted sources.
To reduce the likelihood of attacks, never visit sites of questionable integrity or follow links provided by unfamiliar or untrusted sources.

Implement multiple redundant layers of security.
Various memory-protection schemes (such as nonexecutable and randomly mapped memory segments) may hinder an attacker's ability to exploit this vulnerability to execute arbitrary code.

Review and adjust according to policy any default configuration settings.
Disabling JavaScript in Acrobat reader may also help protect users from exploits that rely on JavaScript. Details on how to do this can be found here:

Updates are available. Please see the references for more information.




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