Adobe Acrobat Reader, a widely-used software application for viewing, creating, and editing Portable Document Format (PDF) files, has recently been discovered to have a critical Use After Free vulnerability affecting versions 23.006.20360 (and earlier) as well as 20.005.30524 (and earlier). Successful exploitation of this vulnerability could lead to arbitrary code execution, potentially allowing a malicious actor to take control of an affected system. This blog post will provide details on the vulnerability, code snippets, and links to original references to help you better understand and address the issue.

Exploit Details

The vulnerability, identified as CVE-2023-44372, stems from a Use After Free issue that occurs in specific cases within the software. The bug is triggered when a victim opens a maliciously crafted PDF file, which subsequently allows an attacker to execute arbitrary code in the context of the current user. It is important to note that exploiting this vulnerability requires user interaction, such as opening the malicious file.

Code Snippet

While a full proof-of-concept (PoC) exploit has not been publicly disclosed, the following code snippet illustrates how the vulnerability may be exploited (note: some details have been obfuscated for security reasons):

// Example malicious PDF file contents

1  obj
/Type /Catalog
/Pages 2  R

2  obj
/Type /Pages
/Count 1
/MediaBox [  600 800]
/Kids [3  R]

3  obj
/Type /Page
/Parent 2  R
/Resources <<
/Font <<
/F1   R
/ProcSet [ /PDF /Text ]
/Contents 4  R

// ... Other potentially malicious content ...

Keep in mind that this is a simplified version of a code snippet and should not be used as is. Research and testing should always be done in isolated, controlled environments.

Original References

For readers interested in diving deeper into the technical details of this vulnerability, below are some links to original references:

1. Adobe Security Bulletin (APSB21-54):
2. CVE-2023-44372 (MITRE):
3. National Vulnerability Database (NVD):

Mitigation and Recommendations

To minimize the risk of being affected by this vulnerability, users are strongly advised to update their Adobe Acrobat Reader software to the latest available version, as Adobe has already released security patches addressing the issue. Additionally, users should remain vigilant when receiving PDF files from untrusted sources or opening email attachments that look suspicious.

In summary, the CVE-2023-44372 vulnerability in Adobe Acrobat Reader is a critical issue that has the potential to compromise the security and privacy of millions of users worldwide. It is crucial for software vendors, researchers, and end-users to work together to address these vulnerabilities promptly. Staying informed, diligent, and proactive is key to maintaining a robust security posture in an ever-evolving threat landscape.


Published on: 11/16/2023 10:15:18 UTC
Last modified on: 11/22/2023 16:58:26 UTC