Vulnerability Spotlight: Information leak vulnerability in Adobe Acrobat Reader

Aleksandar Nikolic of Cisco Talos discovered this vulnerability. Blog by Jon Munshaw.

Cisco Talos recently discovered an information leak vulnerability in Adobe Acrobat Reader DC. An attacker could exploit this vulnerability by tricking the victim into opening a specially crafted, malicious PDF, likely either via an email attachment or embedded on a web page. Adobe Acrobat Reader DC supports embedded JavaScript code in the PDF to allow for interactive PDF forms. This vulnerability specifically exists in the way Acrobat processes JavaScript.

In accordance with our coordinated disclosure policy, Cisco Talos worked with Adobe to ensure that these issues are resolved and that an update is available for affected customers.

Vulnerability details

Adobe Acrobat Reader DC JavaScript gotoNamedDest information leak vulnerability (TALOS-2019-0947/CVE-2019-16463)

A specific JavaScript code embedded in a PDF file can lead to an information leak when opening a PDF document in Adobe Acrobat Reader DC, version 2019.021.20048. With careful memory manipulation, this can lead to sensitive information being disclosed, which could be abused when exploiting another vulnerability to bypass mitigations. In order to trigger this vulnerability, the victim would need to open the malicious file or access a malicious web page.

Read the complete vulnerability advisory here for additional information.

Versions tested

Talos tested and confirmed that Adobe Acrobat Reader DC, version 2019.021.20048 is affected by this vulnerability.


The following SNORTⓇ rules will detect exploitation attempts. Note that additional rules may be released at a future date and current rules are subject to change pending additional vulnerability information. For the most current rule information, please refer to your Firepower Management Center or

Snort Rules: 52097, 52098

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