‘Adobe Reader .ETD File Format String’


Adobe Acrobat Reader is a program for viewing Portable Document Format (PDF) documents.

Remote exploitation of a format string vulnerability in Adobe’s Reader could allow attackers to execute arbitrary code.’


‘The information has been provided by iDEFENSE.
The original article can be found at: http://www.idefense.com/application/poi/display?id=163&type=vulnerabilities


Vulnerable Systems:
 * Adobe Reader version 6.0.2

Immune Systems:
 * Adobe Reader version 6.0.3

The problem specifically exists in the parsing of .etd files used in eBook transactions. An .etd file containing a format string in the ‘title’ or ‘baseurl’ fields can cause an invalid memory access. This vulnerability may allow for the execution of arbitrary code.

The following fields in an .etd file would trigger the vulnerability in a vulnerable Adobe Reader:


Successful exploitation allows an attacker to execute arbitrary code under the privileges of the local user. Remote exploitation is possible by sending a specially crafted e-mail and attaching either the maliciously crafted PDF document or a link to it.

It is possible to disable the parsing of .etd files.
Deleting the following file will prevent exploitation of this vulnerability: C:Program FilesAdobeAcrobat 6.0Readerplug_inseBook.api
This will not impact reading .PDF files. Removing this file prevents Adobe Reader from handling eBooks. When a file handled by this plugin is detected, an error dialog box will appear, offering to take the user to Adobe’s website for information.

Vendor Status:
This vulnerability is addressed in Adobe Acrobat Reader 6.0.3. Downloads for platform specific versions are available at the links shown below:

Reader/Win: http://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/detail.jsp?ftpID=2679
Reader/Mac: http://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/detail.jsp?ftpID=2680
Acrobat/Win: http://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/detail.jsp?ftpID=2677
Acrobat/Mac: http://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/detail.jsp?ftpID=2676

Disclosure Timeline:
10/13/2004 – Initial vendor notification
10/14/2004 – Initial vendor response
12/14/2004 – Coordinated public disclosure’

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