Security Experts:

Foxit PDF Vulnerability Disclosed

Foxit, the popular alternative to Adobe’s Reader software for PDF files, and the application often recommended as a more secure alternative, has been tagged in a recent vulnerability disclosure. Currently, there is no patch for the issue.

Italian security researcher Andrea Micalizzi recently disclosed a flaw he discovered in the Foxit PDF plug-in for Firefox.

If exploited, the vulnerability would allow an attacker to write to the memory location of their choosing, which could spell disaster for the targeted host. To be fair, the vulnerability isn’t found within Foxit’s software, but the DLL file that creates the link between Foxit and Firefox.

“The bug is not in the PDF reader itself, but in the npFoxitReaderPlugin.dll file that acts as the glue between the browser and the reader,” commented Sophos’ Paul Ducklin.

“The np at the start of the filename stands for ‘Netscape Plugin,’ a plugin architecture that originated in the heady days of Netscape Navigator. Ironically, the first example of such a plugin for Netscape was written at...Adobe Systems.”

Also, this issue has only been confirmed with Mozilla’s browser, while Foxit is available on several platforms, the others may very well be safe. Moreover, a working proof of concept has not been released.

Secunia, the Danish vulnerability management firm, has rated this issue as highly critical. Foxit has not commented on the disclosure so far, and there is currently no patch available.

“The vulnerability is confirmed in version 5.4.4.1128 (npFoxitReaderPlugin.dll version 2.2.1.530). Other versions may also be affected,” Secunia notes.

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Steve Ragan is a security reporter and contributor for SecurityWeek. Prior to joining the journalism world in 2005, he spent 15 years as a freelance IT contractor focused on endpoint security and security training.