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Microsoft Vulnerability Research Advisory MSVR11-005

Vulnerability in Foxit Reader Could Allow Remote Code Execution

Published: June 21, 2011

Version: 1.0

Overview

Executive Summary

Microsoft is providing notification of the discovery and remediation of a vulnerability affecting Foxit Reader version 4.0 and earlier. Microsoft discovered and disclosed the vulnerability under coordinated vulnerability disclosure to the affected vendor, Foxit Software. Foxit Software has remediated the vulnerability in their software.

An exploitable vulnerability exists in the way that Foxit Reader handles certain invalid font types. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by causing the Foxit Reader to exit unexpectedly, allowing the attacker to execute arbitrary code. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the logged-on user. If a user is logged on with administrative user rights, an attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could take complete control of an affected system. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights.

Microsoft Vulnerability Research reported this issue to and coordinated with Foxit Software to ensure remediation of this issue. The issue has been assigned the entry, CVE-2011-1908, in the Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures list. For more information, including information about updates from Foxit Software, see Foxit Software Security Bulletins.

Mitigating Factors

  • In a Web-based attack scenario, an attacker could host a Web site that contains a document that is used to exploit this vulnerability. In all cases, however, an attacker would have no way to force users to visit the Web site. Instead, an attacker would have to convince users to visit the Web site, typically by getting them to click a link in an e-mail message or Instant Messenger message that takes users to the attacker's Web site.
  • The vulnerability cannot be exploited automatically through e-mail. For an attack to be successful, a user must open an attachment that is sent in an e-mail message.
  • An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the local user. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.

Advisory Details

Purpose and Recommendation

Purpose of Advisory: To notify users of a vulnerability and its remediation.

Advisory Status: Advisory published.

Recommendation: Review the Suggested Actions section and configure as appropriate.

Issue References

For more information about this issue, see the following references:

ReferenceIdentification
Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures CVE-2011-1908

Affected and Non-Affected Software

This advisory discusses the following software.

Affected Software
Foxit Reader 4.0 and earlier
Non-Affected Software
Foxit Reader 4.0.0.0619

What is the scope of this advisory? 
This advisory is part of a coordinated release with affected vendors to inform customers of a security issue that may affect their systems.

Is this a security vulnerability that requires Microsoft to issue a security update? 
No. This vulnerability has been fixed via an update from the affected third-party vendors. The update remediates the software listed in the table, Affected Software.

What is the scope of the vulnerability? 
This is a remote code execution vulnerability. An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain the same user rights as the logged-on user. Users whose accounts are configured to have fewer user rights on the system could be less impacted than users who operate with administrative user rights.

What causes the vulnerability? 
A specific font type can cause the Foxit Reader to exit unexpectedly, allowing an attacker to execute arbitrary code.

What might an attacker use this vulnerability to do? 
An attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could gain the same user rights as a logged-on user. If the user is logged on with administrative user rights, an attacker who successfully exploited this vulnerability could take complete control of an affected system. An attacker could then install programs; view, change, or delete data; or create new accounts with full user rights.

How could an attacker exploit the vulnerability? 
Exploitation of this vulnerability requires that a user open a specially crafted file with an affected version of Foxit Reader.

In a Web-based attack scenario, a Web site could contain a specially crafted document that is used to exploit this vulnerability. An attacker would have no way to force users to visit the Web site. Instead, an attacker would have to convince users to visit the Web site and open the specially crafted document, typically by getting them to click a link in an e-mail message or Instant Messenger message that takes them to the attacker's Web site, and then convince them to open the specially crafted document.

In an e-mail attack scenario, an attacker could exploit the vulnerability by sending a specially crafted document to the user and convincing the user to open the document.

Apply the vendor-supplied updates or upgrade to a version that is not affected by this vulnerability.

For more information, including information about updates from Foxit Software, see Foxit Software Security Bulletins.

Other Information

Acknowledgments

Microsoft thanks the following:

  • David Seidman of Microsoft for discovering this issue and the team at Foxit Software for working toward a resolution.

Disclaimer

The information provided in this advisory is provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Microsoft disclaims all warranties, either express or implied, including the warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose. In no event shall Microsoft Corporation or its suppliers be liable for any damages whatsoever including direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, loss of business profits or special damages, even if Microsoft Corporation or its suppliers have been advised of the possibility of such damages. Some states do not allow the exclusion or limitation of liability for consequential or incidental damages so the foregoing limitation may not apply.

Revisions

  • V1.0 (June 21, 2011): Advisory published.

Built at 2014-04-18T13:49:36Z-07:00

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