Vulnerabilities > CVE-2020-24431 - Improper Authorization vulnerability in Adobe products

Attack vector
Attack complexity
Privileges required
Confidentiality impact
Integrity impact
Availability impact


Acrobat Reader DC versions 2020.012.20048 (and earlier), 2020.001.30005 (and earlier) and 2017.011.30175 (and earlier) for macOS are affected by a security feature bypass that could result in dynamic library code injection by the Adobe Reader process. Exploitation of this issue requires user interaction in that a victim must open a malicious file.

Vulnerable Configurations

Part Description Count

Common Weakness Enumeration (CWE)

Common Attack Pattern Enumeration and Classification (CAPEC)

  • Accessing Functionality Not Properly Constrained by ACLs
    In applications, particularly web applications, access to functionality is mitigated by the authorization framework, whose job it is to map ACLs to elements of the application's functionality; particularly URL's for web apps. In the case that the administrator failed to specify an ACL for a particular element, an attacker may be able to access it with impunity. An attacker with the ability to access functionality not properly constrained by ACLs can obtain sensitive information and possibly compromise the entire application. Such an attacker can access resources that must be available only to users at a higher privilege level, can access management sections of the application or can run queries for data that he is otherwise not supposed to.
  • Cross Zone Scripting
    An attacker is able to cause a victim to load content into their web-browser that bypasses security zone controls and gain access to increased privileges to execute scripting code or other web objects such as unsigned ActiveX controls or applets. This is a privilege elevation attack targeted at zone-based web-browser security. In a zone-based model, pages belong to one of a set of zones corresponding to the level of privilege assigned to that page. Pages in an untrusted zone would have a lesser level of access to the system and/or be restricted in the types of executable content it was allowed to invoke. In a cross-zone scripting attack, a page that should be assigned to a less privileged zone is granted the privileges of a more trusted zone. This can be accomplished by exploiting bugs in the browser, exploiting incorrect configuration in the zone controls, through a cross-site scripting attack that causes the attackers' content to be treated as coming from a more trusted page, or by leveraging some piece of system functionality that is accessible from both the trusted and less trusted zone. This attack differs from "Restful Privilege Escalation" in that the latter correlates to the inadequate securing of RESTful access methods (such as HTTP DELETE) on the server, while cross-zone scripting attacks the concept of security zones as implemented by a browser.
  • Directory Indexing
    An adversary crafts a request to a target that results in the target listing/indexing the content of a directory as output. One common method of triggering directory contents as output is to construct a request containing a path that terminates in a directory name rather than a file name since many applications are configured to provide a list of the directory's contents when such a request is received. An adversary can use this to explore the directory tree on a target as well as learn the names of files. This can often end up revealing test files, backup files, temporary files, hidden files, configuration files, user accounts, script contents, as well as naming conventions, all of which can be used by an attacker to mount additional attacks.
  • Subverting Environment Variable Values
    The attacker directly or indirectly modifies environment variables used by or controlling the target software. The attacker's goal is to cause the target software to deviate from its expected operation in a manner that benefits the attacker.
  • Accessing, Modifying or Executing Executable Files
    An attack of this type exploits a system's configuration that allows an attacker to either directly access an executable file, for example through shell access; or in a possible worst case allows an attacker to upload a file and then execute it. Web servers, ftp servers, and message oriented middleware systems which have many integration points are particularly vulnerable, because both the programmers and the administrators must be in synch regarding the interfaces and the correct privileges for each interface.