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Researchers Find New Hack to Read Content Of Password Protected PDF Files

Researchers Find New Hack to Read Content Of Password Protected PDF Files

October 01, 2019Mohit Kumar
Looking for ways to unlock and read the content of an encrypted PDF without knowing the password? Well, that's now possible, sort of—thanks to a novel set of attacking techniques that could allow attackers to access the entire content of a password-protected or encrypted PDF file, but under some specific circumstances. Dubbed PDFex , the new set of techniques includes two classes of attacks that take advantage of security weaknesses in the standard encryption protection built into the Portable Document Format, better known as PDF. To be noted, the PDFex attacks don't allow an attacker to know or remove the password for an encrypted PDF; instead, enable attackers to remotely exfiltrate content once a legitimate user opens that document. In other words, PDFex allows attackers to modify a protected PDF document, without having the corresponding password, in a way that when opened by someone with the right password, the file will automatically send out a copy of the decry
Adobe Issues Emergency Patches for Two Critical Flaws in Acrobat and Reader

Adobe Issues Emergency Patches for Two Critical Flaws in Acrobat and Reader

January 04, 2019Swati Khandelwal
I hope you had biggest, happiest and craziest New Year celebration, but now it's time to come back at work and immediately update your systems to patch new security flaws that could exploit your computer just by opening a PDF file. Adobe has issued an out-of-band security update to patch two critical vulnerabilities in the company's Acrobat and Reader for both the Windows and macOS operating systems. Though the San Jose, California-based software company did not give details about the vulnerabilities, it did classify the security flaws as critical since they allow privilege escalation and arbitrary code execution in the context of the current user. Both the vulnerabilities were reported to Adobe by security researchers--Abdul-Aziz Hariri and Sebastian Apelt—from Trend Micro's Zero Day Initiative (ZDI). Critical Adobe Acrobat and Reader Vulnerabilities The first vulnerability, reported by Apelt and identified as CVE-2018-16011, is a use-after-free bug that can lead
Two Critical Zero-Day Flaws Disclosed in Foxit PDF Reader

Two Critical Zero-Day Flaws Disclosed in Foxit PDF Reader

August 17, 2017Wang Wei
Are you using Foxit PDF Reader? If yes, then you need to watch your back. Security researchers have discovered two critical zero-day security vulnerabilities in Foxit Reader software that could allow attackers to execute arbitrary code on a targeted computer, if not configured to open files in the Safe Reading Mode. The first vulnerability (CVE-2017-10951) is a command injection bug discovered by researcher Ariele Caltabiano working with Trend Micro's Zero Day Initiative (ZDI), while the second bug (CVE-2017-10952) is a file write issue found by Offensive Security researcher Steven Seeley. An attacker can exploit these bugs by sending a specially crafted PDF file to a Foxit user and enticing them to open it. Foxit refused to patch both the vulnerabilities because they would not work with the "safe reading mode" feature that fortunately comes enabled by default in Foxit Reader. "Foxit Reader & PhantomPDF has a Safe Reading Mode which is enabled by d
Warning! Update Mozilla Firefox to Patch Critical File Stealing Vulnerability

Warning! Update Mozilla Firefox to Patch Critical File Stealing Vulnerability

August 07, 2015Swati Khandelwal
Earlier this week, Mozilla Security researcher Cody Crews discovered a malicious advertisement on a Russian news site that steals local files from a system and upload them to a Ukrainian server without the user ever knowing. The malicious advertisement was exploiting a serious vulnerability in Firefox's PDF Viewer and the JavaScript context in order to inject a script capable of searching sensitive files on user's local file systems . Mozilla versions of Firefox that do not contain the PDF Viewer, such as Firefox for Android, are not affected by the " Same origin violation and local file stealing via PDF reader " vulnerability. The exploit does not execute any arbitrary code but injects a JavaScript payload into the local file context, allowing the script to search for and upload potentially user's sensitive local files. All an attacker need to do is load the page with this exploit and sit back and relax. The exploit will silently steal files in t
Update Adobe Reader app for Android to Patch Remote Code Execution Vulnerability

Update Adobe Reader app for Android to Patch Remote Code Execution Vulnerability

April 15, 2014Wang Wei
If you're one of the 400 million Android users out there who have installed Adobe Reader app that helps you to view PDF documents on mobile devices, then you should immediately update your app from Google Play Store. Adobe has released an updated Adobe Reader 11.2.0 version to addresses an important vulnerability that could be exploited to gain 'remote code execution' ability on the affected system. According to the Adobe  advisory , vulnerability ( CVE-2014-0514 ) resides in the implementation of JavaScript APIs on Adobe Reader 11.2 that could be exploited to execute arbitrary code within Adobe Reader. Adobe vulnerability discovered by security researcher  Yorick Koster of Securify BV , claimed that an attacker can create a specially crafted PDF file containing malicious JavaScript code that triggers when the victim will try to open it using affected Adobe Reader for Android Operating System. Multiple attack vectors are available to deploy a malicio
MiniDuke Malware spreads via Fake Ukraine-related Documents

MiniDuke Malware spreads via Fake Ukraine-related Documents

April 02, 2014Swati Khandelwal
A year back, Security Researchers from the Antivirus firm Kaspersky found a sophisticated piece of malware which they dubbed as ' MiniDuke ', designed specifically to collect and steal strategic insights and highly protected political information, which is a subject to states' security. Now, once again the MiniDuke virus is spreading in wild via an innocent looking but fake PDF documents related to Ukraine , while the researcher at F-Secure were browsing the set of extracted decoy documents from a large batch of potential MiniDuke Samples. " This is interesting considering the current crisis in the area ," Mikko Hypponen, the CTO of security research firm F-Secure, wrote on Tuesday. The Hacker News reported a year ago about the malicious malware that uses an exploit ( CVE-2013-0640 ) of the famous and actively used Adobe Reader . MiniDuke malware written in assembly language with its tiny file size (20KB), and uses hijacked Twitter accounts for Command &a
Chinese APT Espionage campaign, dubbed 'Icefog' targeted Military contractors and Governments

Chinese APT Espionage campaign, dubbed 'Icefog' targeted Military contractors and Governments

September 27, 2013Mohit Kumar
Kaspersky Lab has identified another Chinese APT campaign , dubbed ' Icefog ', who targeted Governmental institutions, Military contractors, maritime / shipbuilding groups, telecom operators, industrial and high technology companies and mass media. The Hacking group behind the attack who carry out surgical hit and run operations , is an advanced persistent threat (APT) group, used a backdoor dubbed Icefog that worked across Windows and Mac OS X to gain access to systems. " The Mac OS X backdoor currently remains largely undetected by security solutions and has managed to infect several hundred victims worldwide ," the report  (PDF) said. This China-based campaign is almost two years old and follows the pattern of similar APT-style attacks where victims are compromised via a malicious attachment in a spear-phishing email, or are lured to a compromised website and infected with malware . The attackers embed exploits for several known vulnerabilities (CV
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