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February 9, 2011

Protecting Your PDF Files: Taking Security to a New Level

From improved application security and more granular controls to tighter operating system integration and improved deployment and administration tools, the recently announced Adobe Acrobat X and Adobe Reader X are engineered with security in mind. The Adobe product security teams continuously test and evolve Acrobat and Reader to handle any new threats as they emerge to help ensure that your data is safe and secure whenever you use Adobe products.

One of the key pieces of this elevated risk-management strategy is a concept called ‘sandboxing’  – introduced in Adobe Reader X in November. Highly respected by security professionals, sandboxing is a method of creating a confined execution environment for running programs with low rights or privileges. Sandboxes protect users’ systems from being harmed by untrusted documents that contain executable code. In the context of Adobe Reader, the untrusted content is any PDF file and the processes it invokes. Adobe Reader X treats all PDF documents as potentially corrupt and confines all processing to the sandbox.

Specifically, to protect you and your organization from malicious code that attempts to use PDF files to write to a computer’s file system, Adobe provides an implementation of sandboxing technology called Protected Mode. Enabled by default whenever you launch Adobe Reader X, Protected Mode helps prevent attackers from installing malware on a user’s system, thereby reducing the risk of potential security threats. Protected Mode limits the level of access granted to the program, safeguarding systems running the Windows operating system from malicious PDF files that might attempt to write to the computer’s file system, delete files, or otherwise modify system information.

Check out this new white paper that dives deep into sandboxing and other security features, and how the Acrobat X family of products takes the security of PDF documents and data to a new level.

Steve Gottwals, Group Product Manager, Adobe Reader

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