The Dangerous Pervasiveness of Adobe Software
According to a recent report from security firm ScanSafe, by Q4 of last year, 80% of web exploits in 2009 were attributed to Malicious PDFs, while exploits in Word or Excel comprised less than 1%. The report also stated that Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat were the most-exploited software in 2009 . This could be attributed to significant market penetration by Adobe, combined with an identified Adobe vulnerability and a large user-base running outdated software versions. An August 2009 report from Trusteer stated that of the 2.5 million internet users its security system protects, nearly 84% were running outdated, vulnerable versions of Acrobat. That’s roughly 2.1 million vulnerable targets.
Malicious PDF Attacks
How to Defend Against Malicious PDFs
There are a few things you can do to defend against malicious PDFs:
- Update to the latest versions of your Adobe products.
- Review the recent security bulletin form Adobe on this issue.
- Know that there are alternatives to Adobe.
To that last point, technically there’s no reason you need to use Adobe products to view PDFs. There are other PDF reader programs available, such as Foxit, Apple’s Preview, as well as other applications that can create and edit PDF documents. For even more ideas, visit download.com and search for PDF readers and editors.