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Adobe to release emergency patches for Reader, Acrobat

Vulnerabilties could allow an attacker to steal passwords, record keystrokes and other information

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Adobe Systems said it will release patches for two critical vulnerabilities disclosed last week that are actively being used by attackers.

The company said on Saturday the patches will be released sometime this week. Both vulnerabilities can be exploited if a user can be tricked into opening a malicious PDF, which is usually sent to targeted victims by email.

The latest vulnerabilities were discovered by security vendor FireEye, which said it supplied its findings to Adobe. An analysis by Kaspersky Lab of the exploit using the vulnerabilities found that it bypasses the "sandbox" built into Adobe Reader, which is a technology designed to contain attempts to install malicious software.

Kaspersky said the exploit had a level of sophistication seen in cyberespionage campaigns. The malicious software delivered to infected computers can record keystrokes as well as steal passwords and information about a computer's configuration.

Adobe normally issues monthly patches on the second Tuesday of the month, the same day as Microsoft, in order to make it easier for system administrators to update systems. But the company will release emergency fixes out of its normal schedule for vulnerabilities that are deemed to pose a significant threat to users.

The vulnerabilities, CVE-2013-0640 and CVE-2013-0641, affect Adobe Reader and Acrobat versions 9 through 9.5.3, 10 through 10.1.5 and 11 through 11.0.1, according to Adobe. Microsoft's and Apple's platforms are affected. Patches will also be issued for Adobe Reader version 9 and earlier for Linux.

Last week, Adobe released security updates for its Flash and Shockwave software that fixed a total of 19 vulnerabilities. Earlier in the month, Adobe released an emergency update for Flash Player to quash two vulnerabilities that were being actively exploited.

Adobe's products are installed on millions of computers, which makes the company's software a favored choice for hackers.



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