Adobe Vulnerability May Have Led To Google Attack


A malicious hack against Google and a host of other companies may have been carried out via a hole in widely used Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader software, several reports indicated.

According to an Adobe blog post, the company became aware of a security incident on January 2 "involving a sophisticated, coordinated attack against corporate network systems managed by Adobe and other companies."

The attacks, which stemmed from China, were largely unsuccessful.

"At this time, we have no evidence to indicate that any sensitive information " including customer, financial, employee or any other sensitive data " has been compromised," Adobe wrote, adding that it will continue its investigation.

According to a report from Reuters, the vulnerability may have been exploited and used to launch a targeted attack against Google and at least 20 other companies in a bid to steal proprietary codes and intellectual property.

On Tuesday, Google also reported that attacks stemming from China resulted in the loss of intellectual property, prompting the search giant to reexamine its business operations in China and threaten to pull out.

In mid-December Google detected "a highly sophisticated and targeted attack on our corporate infrastructure originating from China that resulted in the theft of intellectual property from Google," wrote David Drummond, senior vice president of corporate development and chief legal officer at Google, in a blog posted Tuesday afternoon with the heading "A new approach to China."

Google added that a similar attack in September was perpetrated in an attempt to compromise Gmail accounts.

Adobe released a patch to fix the hole on Tuesday.

The vulnerability could allow a hacker to insert malicious code into machines once a PDF file was opened, according to a note released by cyber security firm iDefense.

"We have and will continue to use information gained from this attack to make infrastructure improvements to enhance security for Adobe, our customers and our partners," Adobe said.