A previously undocumented flaw in the latest version of Adobe Systems' ubiquitous Reader application is being exploited in online hacks that allow attackers to surreptitiously install malware on end-user computers, a security firm said.
The attacks, according to researchers from security firm FireEye, work against Reader 11.0.1 and earlier versions and are actively being exploited in the wild. If true, the attacks are notable because they pierce security defenses Adobe engineers designed to make malware attacks harder to carry out. Adobe officials said they're investigating the report.
"Upon successful exploitation, it will drop two DLLs," FireEye researchers Yichong Lin, Thoufique Haq, and James Bennett wrote of the online attacks they witnessed. "The first DLL shows a fake error message and opens a decoy PDF document, which is usually common in targeted attacks. The second DLL in turn drops the callback component, which talks to a remote domain." DLL is the researchers' shorthand for a file that works with the Microsoft Windows dynamic link library.