Adobe patches critical security flaws in Reader, Acrobat

Emergency fixes released yesterday are designed to fix vulnerabilities recently exploited by a series of targeted attacks.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Adobe has issued a patch to plug up critical security holes in its Reader and Acrobat software.

Released yesterday, the security updates address flaws that could cause the applications to crash and potentially let an attacker gain control of an infected computer. Adobe confirmed last week that the exploits have already led to some targeted attacks against vulnerable systems.

The patches are directed toward the following products and versions:

  • Adobe Reader XI (11.0.01 and earlier) for Windows and Macintosh
  • Adobe Reader X (10.1.5 and earlier) for Windows and Macintosh
  • Adobe Reader 9.5.3 and earlier 9.x versions for Windows, Macintosh, and Linux
  • Adobe Acrobat XI (11.0.01 and earlier) for Windows and Macintosh
  • Adobe Acrobat X (10.1.5 and earlier) for Windows and Macintosh
  • Adobe Acrobat 9.5.3 and earlier 9.x versions for Windows and Macintosh

The fixes will update the version of Reader or Acrobat. For example, applying the patch to Adobe Reader X 10.1.5 will update it to version 10.1.6.

Those of you who use either product may receive an update notification the next time you launch the software. If not, you can trigger the update by clicking on the Help menu and selecting the command to Check for Updates.

The latest versions can also be downloaded directly via the following links:

Adobe is urging all users of both programs to apply the patches. The company gave virtually all of the security updates a priority number of 1, which in this case means the vulnerabilites have already been targeted in the wild.

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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