A critical security vulnerability has been discovered in Adobe Acrobat Reader DC, affecting several versions. This use-after-free vulnerability, designated as CVE-2022-24104, could potentially allow an attacker to execute arbitrary code in the context of the current user. This vulnerability primarily affects users of Acrobat Reader DC versions 20.001.20085 (and earlier), 20.005.3031x (and earlier), and 17.012.30205 (and earlier). Exploitation of this vulnerability requires user interaction, in that the victim must open a malicious file for the exploit to be successful.

This code snippet demonstrates a simplified example of how a use-after-free vulnerability may occur

#include <stdlib.h>

int main() {
    int *ptr = (int *) malloc(sizeof(int));
    *ptr = 42;
    free(ptr);    // Free the allocated memory

    // Use-after-free occurs here when using the pointer after freeing the memory
    int unsafeValue = *ptr;
    printf("%d\n", unsafeValue);

    return ;

In this example, the ptr pointer is used even after the associated memory is freed, leading to a use-after-free vulnerability. In a more real-world exploit, this can lead to arbitrary code execution if an attacker can control the value of ptr after it has been freed.

Original References

You can find more information about CVE-2022-24104 and the affected Adobe Acrobat Reader DC versions in the following references:

- Adobe Security Bulletin
- CVE Details
- National Vulnerability Database

Exploit Details

The CVE-2022-24104 vulnerability is a critical use-after-free issue that could potentially lead to arbitrary code execution in the context of the current user. An attacker can leverage this vulnerability by crafting a malicious file that exploits the use-after-free vulnerability, and then distributing the file to the target. Upon opening the malicious file using a vulnerable version of Acrobat Reader DC, the exploit will then potentially allow the attacker to execute arbitrary code on the victim's system.

Mitigation and Patch Information

To safeguard against this potentially harmful vulnerability, Adobe has released security updates for the affected Acrobat Reader DC versions, which can be found in their security bulletin:

- Adobe Security Bulletin - Acrobat Reader DC Updates

Users are strongly urged to update their Acrobat Reader DC to the latest version to protect against this vulnerability. Additionally, exercise caution when opening files from unknown sources to minimize the risk of falling victim to such exploits.


Published on: 05/11/2022 18:15:00 UTC
Last modified on: 05/18/2022 16:26:00 UTC