TippingPoint Zero Day Initiative

(0Day) Foxit Reader launchURL Command Injection Remote Code Execution Vulnerability

ZDI-17-691: August 17th, 2017


CVSS Score

Affected Vendors

Affected Products

Vulnerability Details

This vulnerability allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code on vulnerable installations of Foxit Reader. User interaction is required to exploit this vulnerability in that the target must visit a malicious page or open a malicious file.

The specific flaw exists within 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.

Vendor Response

Foxit states:

This vulnerability is being disclosed publicly without a patch in accordance with the ZDI 120 day deadline.

"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."

05/18/17 - ZDI disclosed report to vendor
06/22/17 - ZDI inquired about status
06/26/17 - Vendor indicated that they could not reproduce the issue
06/26/17 - ZDI provided repro steps
06/26/17 - Vendor requested further repro details
07/06/17 - ZDI replied with sample scenario and the re-iterated the need for a fix
07/20/17 - The vendor indicated this will not be fixed because this can be mitigated by Secure Mode
08/08/17 - ZDI communicated that the proposed mitigation is not a fix and that the case will move to 0-day status
POST 0-day UPDATE: 08/26/17 - The vendor sent patch links to ZDI https://www.foxitsoftware.com/products/pdf-reader/

-- Mitigation:
Given the nature of the vulnerability the only salient mitigation strategy is to restrict interaction with the application to trusted files.

Disclosure Timeline

    2017-05-18 - Vulnerability reported to vendor
    2017-08-17 - Coordinated public release of advisory


This vulnerability was discovered by:
    Ariele Caltabiano (kimiya)