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Alert (TA07-297B)

Adobe Updates for Microsoft Windows URI Vulnerability

Systems Affected

Microsoft Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 systems with Internet Explorer 7 and any of the following Adobe products:
  • Adobe Reader 8.1 and earlier
  • Adobe Acrobat Professional, 3D, and Standard 8.1 and earlier
  • Adobe Reader 7.0.9 and earlier
  • Adobe Acrobat Professional, 3D, Standard, and Elements 7.0.9 and earlier


Adobe has released updates for the Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat product families. The update addresses a URI handling vulnerability in Microsoft Windows XP and Server 2003 systems with Internet Explorer 7.


Installing Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) 7 on Windows XP or Server 2003 changes the way Windows handles Uniform Resource Identifiers (URIs). This change has introduced a flaw that can cause Windows to incorrectly determine the appropriate handler for the protocol specified in a URI. By creating a specially crafted URI in a PDF document, an attacker can execute arbitrary commands on a vulnerable system. More information about this vulnerability is available in US-CERT Vulnerability Note VU#403150.

Public reports indicate that this vulnerability is being actively exploited with malicious PDF files. Adobe has released Adobe Reader 8.1.1 and Adobe Acrobat 8.1.1, which mitigate this vulnerability.


By convincing a user to open a specially crafted PDF file, a remote, unauthenticated attacker may be able to execute arbitrary commands.


Apply an update

Adobe has released Adobe Reader 8.1.1 and Adobe Acrobat 8.1.1 to address this issue. These Adobe products handle URIs in a way that mitigates the vulnerability in Microsoft Windows.

Disable the mailto: URI in Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat

If you are unable to install an updated version of the software, this vulnerability can be mitigated by disabling the mailto: URI handler in Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat. Please see Adobe Security Bulletin APSB07-18 for details.

Appendix A. Vendor Information


For information about updating affected Adobe products, see Adobe Security Bulletin APSB07-18.

Appendix B. References

Feedback can be directed to US-CERT Technical Staff.

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Revision History

  • October 24, 2007: Initial release

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