CVE Vulnerabilities


Use After Free

Published: Aug 20, 2021 | Modified: Aug 31, 2021
CVSS 3.x
CVSS 2.x
9.3 HIGH

Acrobat Reader DC versions 2021.005.20054 (and earlier), 2020.004.30005 (and earlier) and 2017.011.30197 (and earlier) are affected by an Use-after-free vulnerability. An unauthenticated attacker could leverage this vulnerability to achieve arbitrary code execution in the context of the current user. Exploitation of this issue requires user interaction in that a victim must open a malicious file.


Referencing memory after it has been freed can cause a program to crash, use unexpected values, or execute code.

Affected Software

Name Vendor Start Version End Version
Acrobat_dc Adobe 15.008.20082 21.005.20054
Acrobat_dc Adobe 17.011.30059 17.011.30197
Acrobat_dc Adobe 20.001.30005 20.004.30005
Acrobat_reader_dc Adobe 15.008.20082 21.005.20054
Acrobat_reader_dc Adobe 17.011.30059 17.011.30197
Acrobat_reader_dc Adobe 20.001.30005 20.004.30005

Extended Description

The use of previously-freed memory can have any number of adverse consequences, ranging from the corruption of valid data to the execution of arbitrary code, depending on the instantiation and timing of the flaw. The simplest way data corruption may occur involves the system’s reuse of the freed memory. Use-after-free errors have two common and sometimes overlapping causes:

In this scenario, the memory in question is allocated to another pointer validly at some point after it has been freed. The original pointer to the freed memory is used again and points to somewhere within the new allocation. As the data is changed, it corrupts the validly used memory; this induces undefined behavior in the process. If the newly allocated data chances to hold a class, in C++ for example, various function pointers may be scattered within the heap data. If one of these function pointers is overwritten with an address to valid shellcode, execution of arbitrary code can be achieved.

Potential Mitigations