Security Experts:

Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

SecurityWeekSecurityWeek

Management & Strategy

Unpatched Code Execution Flaws in Foxit Reader Disclosed

Trend Micro’s Zero Day Initiative (ZDI) has disclosed the details of two remote code execution vulnerabilities affecting Foxit Reader. The vendor has decided not to patch the flaws as it believes exploitation is prevented by the product’s “Secure Mode” feature.

Trend Micro’s Zero Day Initiative (ZDI) has disclosed the details of two remote code execution vulnerabilities affecting Foxit Reader. The vendor has decided not to patch the flaws as it believes exploitation is prevented by the product’s “Secure Mode” feature.

The more serious of the weaknesses, tracked as CVE-2017-10952 and rated high severity by ZDI, is an arbitrary file write flaw affecting the saveAs JavaScript function in Foxit Reader.

“The issue results from the lack of proper validation of user-supplied data, which can lead to writing arbitrary files into attacker controlled locations,” ZDI said in its advisory.

The second vulnerability, classified as medium severity and tracked as CVE-2017-10951, is a command injection flaw that exists in the app.launchURL method.

“The issue results from the lack of proper validation of a user-supplied string before using it to execute a system call. An attacker can leverage this vulnerability to execute code under the context of the current process,” ZDI said.

An attacker can exploit the vulnerabilities, both classified by ZDI as “zero-day,” by getting the targeted user to open a specially crafted document.

Proof-of-concept (PoC) videos have been made available for both flaws. They show how an attacker could execute an arbitrary application and write an executable file to the targeted system’s startup folder.

The issues, discovered by researchers Ariele Caltabiano (aka kimiya) and Steven Seeley of Offensive Security, were reported to Foxit Software in May and June. ZDI decided to make its advisories public after the vendor said it will not release patches as exploitation is prevented by the application’s “Secure Mode” feature.

“Foxit Reader & PhantomPDF has a Safe Reading Mode which is enabled by default to control the running of JavaScript, which can effectively guard against potential vulnerabilities from unauthorized JavaScript actions,” Foxit Software told ZDI.

However, ZDI does not agree that this feature provides enough protection against exploitation.

“Users of Foxit’s Reader and PhantomPDF should ensure they have Safe Reading Mode and hope attackers don’t discover a way to disable it. Additionally, you can uncheck the ‘Enable JavaScript Actions’ from Foxit’s Preferences menu, although this may break some functionality,” ZDI’s Abdul-Aziz Hariri said in a blog post.

UPDATE. Foxit Software told SecurityWeek that it will address the vulnerabilities. The company has provided the following statement:

Foxit Software is deeply committed to delivering secure PDF products to its customers. Our track record is strong in responding quickly in fixing vulnerabilities. We are currently working to rapidly address the two vulnerabilities reported on the Zero Day Initiative blog and will quickly deliver software improvements. In the meantime, users can help protect themselves by using the Safe Reading Mode. We apologize for our initial miscommunication when contacted about these vulnerabilities and are making changes to our procedures to mitigate the probability of it occurring again.

Related: Adobe Patches 69 Flaws in Reader, Acrobat

Related: Foxit Patches RCE Flaws in Reader, PhantomPDF

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

Expert Insights

Related Content

Application Security

Cycode, a startup that provides solutions for protecting software source code, emerged from stealth mode on Tuesday with $4.6 million in seed funding.

CISO Strategy

Cybersecurity-related risk is a top concern, so boards need to know they have the proper oversight in place. Even as first-timers, successful CISOs make...

Mobile & Wireless

Technical details published for an Arm Mali GPU flaw leading to arbitrary kernel code execution and root on Pixel 6.

Mobile & Wireless

Apple rolled out iOS 16.3 and macOS Ventura 13.2 to cover serious security vulnerabilities.

Cloud Security

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

Mobile & Wireless

Apple’s iOS 12.5.7 update patches CVE-2022-42856, an actively exploited vulnerability, in old iPhones and iPads.

Vulnerabilities

Security researchers have observed an uptick in attacks targeting CVE-2021-35394, an RCE vulnerability in Realtek Jungle SDK.

Mobile & Wireless

Two vulnerabilities in Samsung’s Galaxy Store that could be exploited to install applications or execute JavaScript code by launching a web page.