RE: PDFs and Viruses?

Subject: RE: PDFs and Viruses?
From: "Combs, Richard" <richard -dot- combs -at- Polycom -dot- com>
To: Keith Hansen <KRH -at- weiland-wfg -dot- com>, "'techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com'" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 13 Jul 2010 08:06:43 -0700

Keith Hansen wrote:

> Question folks... Can a PDF file contain a virus?
>
> I've usually heard that it cannot, but I have heard a few people claim
> otherwise.
>
> Any opinions? Personal experiences with this?

You don't want opinions on this --what good are they? :-) You want facts.

Google "pdf malware" for plenty of empirical data. For instance:

Feb 22, 2009 ... Security companies are warning of a new Adobe flaw that could compromise a PC merely by opening a malicious PDF...

Nov 1, 2007 ... Malicious PDF files accounted for up to two thirds of infected email in three day spam campaign.

Jan 7, 2010 ... Adobe will patch a security flaw on January 12th, 2010. Until then, hackers are using this flaw to launch attacks and hijack computers

... and about 5 million more.

PDFs can contain executable code, and that means there are potential security vulnerabilities to exploit. I seem to be getting security-related Acrobat patches every week or two.

If you've got Acrobat or Reader on your system, I hope you have updating turned on. If you're using some other vendor's PDF tools, I hope you have confidence in that vendor.


Richard G. Combs
Senior Technical Writer
Polycom, Inc.
richardDOTcombs AT polycomDOTcom
303-223-5111
------
rgcombs AT gmailDOTcom
303-903-6372
------





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References:
PDFs and Viruses?: From: Keith Hansen

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