Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Adobe ships another mega-patch for PDF Reader

By Ryan Naraine

Adobe has slapped another band-aid on its heavily targeted PDF Reader/Acrobat product line, warning that hackers are already exploiting some of these vulnerabilities to launch malware attacks.

The latest mega-patch, available for Windows, Mac and UNIX users, covers a whopping 23 security flaws that could cause software crashes or remote code execution attacks.

Affected Software Versions:

Adobe Reader 9.3.4 and earlier versions for Windows, Macintosh and UNIX
Adobe Acrobat 9.3.4 and earlier versions for Windows and Macintosh
The company rates these vulnerabilities as “critical” and urged users to immediately upgrade to Adobe Reader 9.4.

The company rates these vulnerabilities as “critical” and urged users to immediately upgrade to Adobe Reader 9.4.

The company rates these vulnerabilities as “critical” and urged users to immediately upgrade to Adobe Reader 9.4.

[ New PDF zero-day under attack ]

This patch batch was rushed out in response to zero-day attacks that exploited at least two of the 23 security holes.

The next quarterly security updates for Adobe Reader and Acrobat are scheduled for February 8, 2011.

You mean you have to patch again? Why?
Oh. I see. You are using Windows. Well, now I understand.

But if you want my advice, switching to Ubuntu Linux with LSM AppArmor and sandboxed Evince (PDF reader) will keep you safe from any PDF exploit.

And, LSM AppArmor security doesn't stop there. You can turn on profiles for your Firefox browser, Evolution email, and even Pidgin IM sessions.

If there isn't a stock AA profile for your special Linux App, creating a profile isn't difficult.

The point here isn't that Linux can't get infected by Zero-Day exploits--it's that Canonical understands this and is proactively offering standard AA sandbox profiles for its user-base.

There's no getting around the fact that Apps on any platform when written inevitably have software bugs that result in 'unintended side effects'. That is what the hackers are looking for (fuzzing) and they design buffer overflows to induce privilege escalation on your operating system.

This is where AA comes alive and steps in. AA polices both your App and the kernel's actions and if their actions are not defined in the App's profile, they simply get refused--stopped cold.

So, Ubuntu Linux isn't immune to infection, but you can be assured that any App you run with an AA profile will keep any zero-day exploit from escalating and seizing control of your machine. That is the point. And you can be assured that Canonical will provide a timely update to fix known vulnerabilities/exploits in a matter of days, or even the same day reported--not just once a month like the Windows 'first Tuesday' of the month patch cycle.

That is the way it should be. Get peace of mind with Ubuntu Linux.

Ubuntu Linux: The safest operating system on the planet.

I stake my reputation on it.

More about AppArmor here:

View the original article here


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