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Adobe Acrobat Security Vulnerabilities Allow Root Privileges on Mac, Update Now

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Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Tencent security researcher Yuebin Sun today disclosed three security vulnerabilities in Adobe Acrobat Reader for Mac that could allow an attacker to gain root privileges and access sensitive user data.

Adobe patched the vulnerabilities in an update to Acrobat this week, so make sure you are running version 2020.009.20063 or later by opening the app and navigating to Help > Check for Updates.

Adobe has shared a security bulletin with more details.

Article Link: Adobe Acrobat Security Vulnerabilities Allow Root Privileges on Mac, Update Now
 

840quadra

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 1, 2005
8,234
3,535
Twin Cities Minnesota
Is there a benefit to using Adobe Acrobat Reader on a Mac? Preview seems to handle larger resolution PDFs with ease while it stutters and chokes with Adobe.
I think Adobe handles Layers better and gives more control than preview does. Adobe also seems to better handle PDFs generated by other 3rd party tools with more success (in my use) than Preview does.
 
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unashamedgeek

macrumors regular
Sep 21, 2012
158
145
Is there a benefit to using Adobe Acrobat Reader on a Mac? Preview seems to handle larger resolution PDFs with ease while it stutters and chokes with Adobe.
I use it to ensure PDFs work for other users. Preview will display PDFs that when opened in Reader will fail to open. I don't know why this is, but is has come up when I use PDF print to submit receipts to work. I'll view it in Preview and it is fine, I'll send it in and accounting will respond that my PDF can't be opened. I'll try it using Reader and it does fail and I have to recreate it until Reader can see it. For all my personal needs, Preview is great, Reader only comes into play if I need to send a PDF I created to someone else.
 
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Hodar1

macrumors regular
Is there a benefit to using Adobe Acrobat Reader on a Mac? Preview seems to handle larger resolution PDFs with ease while it stutters and chokes with Adobe.
Between being one of the LARGEST infection Vectors (since Steve Jobs blasted them ) I have gone with PDFExpert. Not a subscription, seems to do pretty much everything I need, at a reasonable price.
 
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Fred-134

macrumors newbie
Jun 2, 2016
2
0
This week I had to reinstall my Catalina OS. I cannot say it was Adobe, but my MacBook Pro (2017) screen was flickering. Prior the flickering, I had cancelled my CC subscription an uninstall all adobe apps and switched to Affinity Photo (no regrets AT ALL). I tried all command+options+restart, and nothing worked. So I clean install and the screen stops flickering...
 
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MacStrategy

macrumors newbie
Jan 13, 2016
7
8
United Kingdom
Version 2020.009.20063 is only for the latest version of Acrobat.

You can be secure and up to date with any of the following:

Adobe Reader 2015 = v1500630523
Adobe Acrobat Pro 2015 = v1500630523
Adobe Reader 2017 = v1701130171
Adobe Acrobat Pro 2017 = v1701130171
Adobe Reader DC/2020 = v2000920063
Adobe Acrobat Pro DC/2020 = v2000920063

It is very important to note that you can only apply the latest security patches as long as you are running macOS 10.12 or later. If you're running an earlier OS you are out of luck, and so, based on this vulnerability it would be wise to either upgrade your OS or remove Acrobat altogether.

You can update your Adobe software by going to Help menu > Check for updates

Or you can download the updater manually via:

Adobe Reader = ftp://ftp.adobe.com/pub/adobe/reader/mac/
Acrobat Pro = ftp://ftp.adobe.com/pub/adobe/acrobat/mac/
[automerge]1589468605[/automerge]
"Cannot connect to Adobe update server. Please verify that you are connected to the Internet and check for updates again."

Thanks Adobe!
It is very important to note that you can only apply the latest security patches as long as you are running macOS 10.12 or later… that might be one reason for this particular error.
 
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MacStrategy

macrumors newbie
Jan 13, 2016
7
8
United Kingdom
Is there a benefit to using Adobe Acrobat Reader on a Mac? Preview seems to handle larger resolution PDFs with ease while it stutters and chokes with Adobe.
Preview doesn't handle forms as well as the proper Adobe Reader software. Also, Preview is part of the OS so it is only updated/secure as long as you are running an up-to-date version of macOS. And Apple only supports the last three versions so you must be up-to-date and using one of the following:

macOS 10.15 Catalina > macOS 10.15.4 Update
macOS 10.14 Mojave > macOS 10.14.6 + Security Update 2020-002
macOS 10.13 High Sierra > macOS 10.13.6 + Security Update 2020-002

Otherwise I would not recommend using Preview.
 
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I've been using Adobe Acrobat Pro DC for years. Before that, I was using the desktop version of pro for decades. Even so, I use PDF Expert on the new 12.9 iPad Pro, and I liked it better than Adobe Reader. I always find it interesting that Adobe continues to struggle with forms. More times than not, it can't recognize checkboxes, and the consistency of cursor placement within forms is crap.
 
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Capeto

macrumors 6502
Jul 9, 2015
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Between being one of the LARGEST infection Vectors (since Steve Jobs blasted them ) I have gone with PDFExpert. Not a subscription, seems to do pretty much everything I need, at a reasonable price.
I use PDF Expert as well, and find it very capable. Adobe products seem to have an inordinate degree of security problems. I avoid them.
Thanks for the recommendation, I’ll check out PDF Expert.

Edit: never mind it’s $80 lmao
 
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mattopotamus

macrumors G5
Jun 12, 2012
13,894
4,441
I use it to ensure PDFs work for other users. Preview will display PDFs that when opened in Reader will fail to open. I don't know why this is, but is has come up when I use PDF print to submit receipts to work. I'll view it in Preview and it is fine, I'll send it in and accounting will respond that my PDF can't be opened. I'll try it using Reader and it does fail and I have to recreate it until Reader can see it. For all my personal needs, Preview is great, Reader only comes into play if I need to send a PDF I created to someone else.

just make sure to name the document .pdf and it should work across the board.
 
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H2SO4

macrumors 601
Nov 4, 2008
4,736
5,854
Is there a benefit to using Adobe Acrobat Reader on a Mac? Preview seems to handle larger resolution PDFs with ease while it stutters and chokes with Adobe.
There is. I use Preview for the most part but anybody that wants a serious PDF editor with almost complete compatibility will use Adobe.
Unfortunately it’s ubiquitous.
For the more simple stuff Preview is fine, but if you go through settings and options Adobe trounces most other offerings.
I have a 500 page technical manual that Preview freezes with, Acrobat is no problem.
Trying to create forms or edit them with Preview and then moving to a third party editor is a crap shoot.
It may be ugly and expensive but Adobe is where it is because it’s powerful and cross platform.
 
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chewbaka

macrumors member
Jun 2, 2014
89
221
I find this hilarious.

Before I ported my data to my new MB Pro last year, I deleted every Adobe app and associate configuration, plist, cache, application support folder etc. etc.

I had the apps through a institutional subscription, and the authentication background ******** would spin the fans out of control when I wasn't using anything. I'd kill it in Activity Monitor, and it'd come back!
 
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szw-mapple fan

macrumors 68020
Jul 28, 2012
2,036
1,839
I use it to ensure PDFs work for other users. Preview will display PDFs that when opened in Reader will fail to open. I don't know why this is, but is has come up when I use PDF print to submit receipts to work. I'll view it in Preview and it is fine, I'll send it in and accounting will respond that my PDF can't be opened. I'll try it using Reader and it does fail and I have to recreate it until Reader can see it. For all my personal needs, Preview is great, Reader only comes into play if I need to send a PDF I created to someone else.
If you edited something in PDF in preview try flattening it by using File > Export as PDF. This never failed for me whenever someone had issues viewing.
 
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Detektiv-Pinky

macrumors 6502a
Feb 25, 2006
829
162
Berlin, Germany
I use it to ensure PDFs work for other users. Preview will display PDFs that when opened in Reader will fail to open. I don't know why this is, but is has come up when I use PDF print to submit receipts to work. I'll view it in Preview and it is fine, I'll send it in and accounting will respond that my PDF can't be opened. I'll try it using Reader and it does fail and I have to recreate it until Reader can see it. For all my personal needs, Preview is great, Reader only comes into play if I need to send a PDF I created to someone else.

I almost always use the 'PDF Export' function in Preview, before I send stuff to other people. This seems to collapse/flatten layers that are only compatible within the Apple eco-system. I had problems with annotations not showing up for other people, although they would render fine in Preview.

After exporting the annotated PDF as a new PDF file, the annotations could no longer be edited directly, but showed up correctly for Windows users.
 
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Morgenland

macrumors 6502a
May 28, 2009
925
872
Europe
There is. I use Preview for the most part but anybody that wants a serious PDF editor with almost complete compatibility will use Adobe.
Unfortunately it’s ubiquitous.
For the more simple stuff Preview is fine, but if you go through settings and options Adobe trounces most other offerings.
I have a 500 page technical manual that Preview freezes with, Acrobat is no problem.
Trying to create forms or edit them with Preview and then moving to a third party editor is a crap shoot.
It may be ugly and expensive but Adobe is where it is because it’s powerful and cross platform.
serious?
 
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