Note: This is an archival copy of Security Sun Alert 256788 as previously published on
Latest version of this security advisory is available from as Sun Alert 1020358.1.
Article ID : 1020358.1
Article Type : Sun Alerts (SURE)
Last reviewed : 2009-06-28
Audience : PUBLIC
Copyright Notice: Copyright © 2010, Oracle Corporation and/or its affiliates.

Multiple Security Vulnerabilities in Adobe Reader for Solaris 10 May Allow Execution of Arbitrary Code or Cause a Denial of Service (DoS) (Adobe Security Bulletin APSB09-04)


Release Phase

Bug Id

Solaris 10 Operating System

Date of Workaround Release

Date of Resolved Release

Multiple Security Vulnerabilities in Adobe Reader for Solaris 10 May Allow Execution of Arbitrary Code or Cause a Denial of Service (DoS) (Adobe Security Bulletin APSB09-04)

1. Impact

Multiple security vulnerabilities in Adobe Reader 9.0 and earlier for Solaris 10 may allow remote unprivileged users to execute arbitrary code or crash the Adobe Reader application, thereby causing a Denial of Service (DoS) condition. These vulnerabilities may be exploited via specially crafted PDF files.

These issues are also described in the following documents:

2. Contributing Factors

These issues can occur in the following release:

SPARC Platform
  • Solaris 10 without patch 121104-07

1. Solaris 8, Solaris 9, Solaris 10 on the x86 platform and OpenSolaris do not ship Adobe Reader and therefore are not affected by this issue.

2. All versions of Adobe Reader up to and including version 7.0.9 and versions 8.0 through 9.0 are affected by these issues.

To determine the version of Adobe Reader installed on the system, the following command can be run:
$ /usr/bin/acroread -version
Earlier versions of Adobe Reader on Solaris 10 only shipped acroread in /usr/sfw/bin which do not support the '-version' option, so for such instances, the following command can be used instead:
$ cat `pkgchk -l -P AcroVersion | awk '/Pathname/ { print $2 }'`

3. Symptoms

If the described issues have been exploited to cause a Denial of Service (DoS), the Adobe Reader application will crash, potentially leaving a core file depending on the system configuration.

There are no predictable symptoms that would indicate that these issues have been exploited to execute arbitrary code.

4. Workaround

To avoid the described issues, do not load PDF files from untrusted sources.

For the buffer overflow vulnerability described in CVE-2009-0658:

Disabling JavaScript may prevent this vulnerability from being exploited. Acrobat JavaScript can be disabled in the General preferences dialog of Adobe Reader with the following:

1. Edit -> Preferences -> JavaScript
2. Un-check Enable Acrobat JavaScript

Note that this workaround will not prevent the vulnerability from being exploited, but will only prevent one of the most common exploits used against this vulnerability.

Until patches can be applied, the risk of these vulnerabilities can be mitigated by preventing PDF documents from being opened automatically by the Web browser. In Firefox 2.0, this can be set by changing the default action for PDF documents with the following:

1. Open the Preferences dialog from the Edit menu
2. Select Contents tab.
3. Click on Manage button in  File Types block.
4. Select PDF in the list and click Change Action.
5. Select 'Save them on my computer' option and click OK.

Note that this workaround will reduce the risk of exploitation but will not prevent the issue from being exploited.

In addition, the risk of these vulnerabilities can mitigated by disabling JavaScript in Adobe Reader as mentioned above. JavaScript is not necessary for these vulnerabilities to be exploited, but if JavaScript is disabled it is typically more difficult to do so.

5. Resolution

This issue is addressed in the following release:
  • Solaris 10 with patch 121104-07 or later
For more information on Security Sun Alerts, see 1009886.1.

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