Vulnerability Spotlight: Adobe Acrobat Reader DC text field remote code execution vulnerability

Aleksandar Nikolic of Cisco Talos discovered this vulnerability.

Executive summary

Adobe Acrobat Reader DC contains a vulnerability that could allow an attacker to remotely execute code on the victim’s machine. If the attacker tricks the user into opening a specially crafted PDF with specific JavaScript, they could cause heap corruption. The user could also trigger this bug if they open a specially crafted email attachment.

In accordance with our coordinated disclosure policy, Cisco Talos worked with Adobe to ensure that these issues are resolved and that an update is available for affected customers.

Vulnerability details

Adobe Acrobat Reader DC text field value remote code execution vulnerability (TALOS-2018-0704/CVE-2018-19716)

Adobe Acrobat Reader supports embedded JavaScript in PDFs to allow for more user interaction. However, this gives the attacker the ability to precisely control memory layout, and it poses an additional attack surface. If the attacker tricks the user into opening a PDF with two specific lines of JavaScript code, it will trigger an incorrect integer size promotion, leading to heap corruption. It’s possible to corrupt the heap to the point that the attacker could arbitrarily execute code on the victim’s machine.

Read the complete vulnerability advisory here for additional information.

Versions tested

Talos tested and confirmed that Adobe Acrobat Reader DC 2019.8.20071 is impacted by this vulnerability.


The following SNORTⓇ rules will detect exploitation attempts. Note that additional rules may be released at a future date and current rules are subject to change pending additional vulnerability information. For the most current rule information, please refer to your Firepower Management Center or

Snort Rules: 48293, 48294

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