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Adobe Illustrator Vulnerabilities Rated Critical, But Exploitation Not Easy

Updates released by Adobe last week for its Illustrator product patch two vulnerabilities that could lead to arbitrary code execution, but the researcher who found them says exploitation is not easy.

Updates released by Adobe last week for its Illustrator product patch two vulnerabilities that could lead to arbitrary code execution, but the researcher who found them says exploitation is not easy.

According to Adobe, Illustrator 2021 and 2022 for Windows and macOS are affected by improper input validation and out-of-bounds read vulnerabilities that could lead to malicious code execution.

Adobe assigned the flaws a ‘critical’ severity rating. Based on their CVSS score, the vulnerabilities are ‘high severity’.

However, exploitation is not easy. The issues were reported to Adobe through Trend Micro’s Zero Day Initiative (ZDI) by Tran Van Khang, malware analyst in the services division of Vietnam-based cybersecurity firm VinCSS, a subsidiary of Vingroup.

Advisories published by ZDI reveal that the vulnerabilities are related to the parsing of PCX and CDR files.

The researcher told SecurityWeek that an attacker would need to send a malformed file to the targeted user and convince them to open the file using a vulnerable version of Illustrator.

In addition to the social engineering component, exploitation of the vulnerability is not easy due to the need to bypass memory protection mechanisms in Windows, such as DEP and ASLR, Tran explained.

Indeed, Adobe assigned the flaws a priority rating of 3, which indicates that the software giant does not expect them to be exploited in malicious attacks.

This is the seventh round of Illustrator updates announced by Adobe in 2022. Nearly all of the previous updates addressed critical arbitrary code execution vulnerabilities. More than 40 security holes have been patched in the product this year.

Related: Adobe Patches 63 Security Flaws in Patch Tuesday Bundle

Related: Critical Flaws in ColdFusion, Adobe Commerce

Related: Adobe Patch Tuesday: Code Execution Flaws in Acrobat, Reader

Written By

Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.

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