Security Experts:

Adobe to Patch Critical Flaws in Reader, Acrobat Next Week

Adobe will be patching critical vulnerabilities in its Adobe Reader and Acrobat software as part of its scheduled quarterly update next week.

Adobe Acrobat and Reader X (10.1.3) and earlier 10.x versions for Windows and Mac OS X, as well as Acrobat and Reader 9.5.1 and earlier 9.x versions for Windows and Mac OX S will be patched on Aug. 14 as part of a scheduled update, the company said in its pre-notification security advisory Thursday. As usual, there wasn't a lot of information in the advisory, although Adobe said it was not aware of any attacks in the wild exploiting these vulnerabilities.

Earlier this year, Adobe announced it will push out fixes for Acrobat and Reader in the background using the silent updater mechanism. If things go according to plan, then users who have turned on background updates for these two programs should receive the update automatically without seeing any prompts or notifications to update. Security Watch has asked Adobe to confirm this is still the case for this release.

According to Adobe's rating system, these flaws are critical, meaning malicious native-code can be executed without the user's knowledge on the affected machine. Adobe also assigned Acrobat and Reader 9.5.1 and earlier 9.x versions on Windows a priority rating of 1, which means the vulnerability is "being targeted" or at a "higher risk of being targeted." This means the 9.x versions for Windows should be updated within 72 hours of the security fix release.

Reader and Acrobat X and earlier 10.x versions on both Windows and Mac OS X, as well as the 9.x version for Macs have a priority rating of 2, meaning "a vulnerability that has historically been at elevated risk," despite "no known exploits."

Adobe's security update will coincide with Microsoft's August Patch Tuesday, which appears to be pretty extensive, next week. "Tuesday is gonna be a party," Andrew Storms, director of security operations at nCircle, wrote on Twitter.

Fahmida Y. Rashid is a Senior Contributing Writer for SecurityWeek. She has experience writing and reviewing security, core Internet infrastructure, open source, networking, and storage. Before setting out her journalism shingle, she spent nine years as a help-desk technician, software and Web application developer, network administrator, and technology consultant.