Security Experts:

Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?



Adobe Patches Reader Flaws That Earned Hackers $150,000 at Chinese Contest

Adobe on Tuesday announced security updates for several products, including for Acrobat and Reader, in which the software giant patched a total of 26 vulnerabilities.

Adobe on Tuesday announced security updates for several products, including for Acrobat and Reader, in which the software giant patched a total of 26 vulnerabilities.

Of the 26 security holes fixed in the Windows and macOS versions of Acrobat and Reader, 16 have been assigned a “critical” severity rating (high severity based on their CVSS score), and a majority are memory-related issues that can be exploited for arbitrary code execution.

Four of these critical vulnerabilities — CVE-2021-44704 through CVE-2021-44707 — were disclosed by four different teams at China’s Tianfu Cup hacking contest.

Tianfu Cup organizers offered up to $60,000 for Reader exploits that achieved remote code execution with a sandbox escape. Researchers earned a total of $1.9 million at the event that took place in October.

A source told SecurityWeek that the team representing Chinese cybersecurity company Cyber Kunlun earned $60,000 for its exploit, while the other teams earned $30,000 each, as their exploits did not include a sandbox escape. The exploit worth $60,000 included a Windows kernel bug that Microsoft has yet to patch.

The remaining flaws patched in Acrobat and Reader can be exploited for privilege escalation, bypassing security features, causing a DoS condition, and obtaining data from memory.

In addition, Adobe patched two issues in Illustrator, six flaws in Bridge, four vulnerabilities in InCopy, and three vulnerabilities in InDesign.

Adobe says it’s not aware of any malicious attacks targeting these vulnerabilities.

Related: Chrome 95 Update Patches Exploited Zero-Days, Flaws Disclosed at Tianfu Cup

Related: Apple Patches Vulnerabilities That Earned Hackers $600,000 at Chinese Contest

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.

Click to comment

Daily Briefing Newsletter

Subscribe to the SecurityWeek Email Briefing to stay informed on the latest threats, trends, and technology, along with insightful columns from industry experts.

Join this webinar to learn best practices that organizations can use to improve both their resilience to new threats and their response times to incidents.


Join this live webinar as we explore the potential security threats that can arise when third parties are granted access to a sensitive data or systems.


Expert Insights

Related Content


Less than a week after announcing that it would suspended service indefinitely due to a conflict with an (at the time) unnamed security researcher...

Risk Management

The supply chain threat is directly linked to attack surface management, but the supply chain must be known and understood before it can be...


Apple has released updates for macOS, iOS and Safari and they all include a WebKit patch for a zero-day vulnerability tracked as CVE-2023-23529.

Application Security

Drupal released updates that resolve four vulnerabilities in Drupal core and three plugins.

Cloud Security

VMware vRealize Log Insight vulnerability allows an unauthenticated attacker to take full control of a target system.

IoT Security

Lexmark warns of a remote code execution (RCE) vulnerability impacting over 120 printer models, for which PoC code has been published.

Application Security

A CSRF vulnerability in the source control management (SCM) service Kudu could be exploited to achieve remote code execution in multiple Azure services.


Patch Tuesday: Microsoft warns vulnerability (CVE-2023-23397) could lead to exploitation before an email is viewed in the Preview Pane.