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Adobe Releases Out-of-Band Security Bulletin for Adobe Acrobat and Reader (APSB19-02)

Adobe issued an out-of-band security bulletin which addresses two critical vulnerabilities (CVE-2018-16011, CVE-2018-16018) in Adobe Acrobat and Reader.


On January 3, Adobe released a security bulletin to address two critical vulnerabilities in Adobe Acrobat and Reader for both Windows and macOS. Adobe published a prenotification for this bulletin on December 27 to give users advance warning.

Vulnerability details

The security bulletin addresses two critical vulnerabilities. The first, CVE-2018-16011, is a use after free vulnerability that could lead to arbitrary code execution. CVE-2018-16018 is a security bypass vulnerability that could allow an attacker to elevate privileges. An attacker could create and deliver a specially crafted PDF file to a vulnerable target in order to exploit these vulnerabilities. Adobe hasn’t provided any additional details about these vulnerabilities, including whether or not they have been observed in attacks in the wild.

Tenable’s Security Response Team observed that both of the CVEs listed in APSB19-02 were initially included as part of APSB18-41, Adobe’s monthly security bulletin from December 2018. However, both CVEs were removed on or before December 20, according to the last revision date in the bulletin. Additionally, Adobe revised APSB19-02 to include CVE-2018-16018 in place of the previously listed CVE-2018-19725.

Urgently required actions

Adobe has released updated versions of Adobe Acrobat DC, Adobe Acrobat Reader DC, Acrobat 2017 and Acrobat Reader DC 2017 that address these vulnerabilities. End users and IT administrators are encouraged to upgrade to these patched versions as soon as possible.

Identifying affected systems

Tenable’s plugins for APSB18-41 will be updated to reflect Adobe’s revised bulletin. Once updated, the following list of Nessus plugins to identify these specific vulnerabilities will appear here as they’re released.

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