A recent Adobe Reader zero-day exploit is notable for being the first in the wild to fully escape Reader's sandboxing capabilities. Could you explain how this attack works? Does it cast doubt on sandboxing as an effective enterprise application hardening technique?
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A moat filled with sharknadoes is insufficient protection if it can be bypassed by a helicopter. There should be additional protections in place that will keep intruders out in case one defense fails. This is not to say there should be an infinite number of moats and flying sharks, but enterprises should evaluate the risk and the additional cost so the sharks with lasers aren't just protecting the public website.
The intent of the Adobe Reader and Acrobat sandbox is to make it significantly more difficult for attackers to exploit the software. An attacker must spend considerably more time and money developing exploits for Reader and Acrobat than was necessary a year or two ago. Clearly there's no such thing as a perfect defensive technology, but sandboxing by and large has made a difference in making software safer, and will surely continue to do so despite this minor setback.
This was first published in July 2013