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July 17, 2013

Reader XI and Application Security: Are you sure you want to open that PDF file?

Wouldn’t it be great to live in a world where we could open any email or attachment without worry? Unfortunately, hackers attack in a variety of ways, and one of their favorite tactics is putting malicious code in files that people open and work with regularly. Their goal is to gain entry to systems – and to your valuable data. PDF has become a universally adopted file type for documents, data and intellectual property, thanks to its status as a freely available published standard that developers have used to create their own PDF viewing and creation software. This means, in worst-case scenarios, that viruses or Malware (short for malicious software) can be inserted into a PDF to allow an attacker to gather your sensitive information, gain access to your networks, or completely disrupt your computer operation. Yes, it sounds dismal, but don’t worry: you’re not defenseless! When you’re reading or working with PDF files, you should consider a Reader that protects your documents and systems, as noted in this White Paper on minimizing your risk.

 

Application Security is comprised of many features, one of which is called “sandboxing”.  In technical terms, a Sandbox is a controlled set of resources that separates running programs on your computer. If you run a program within a sandbox, the chances of compromising your data or systems are greatly reduced. Given that we don’t live in a hacker-free world (see above), and that we know a thing or two about reading PDF files, we’ve made extensive investments in Adobe Reader XI to protect you from attacks within a PDF file; one investment is to include industry-leading sandboxing technology that is built in to the software, and protects you from attacks that try to read or write to your systems. Adobe Reader XI also has to ability to designate appropriate Javascript that can run within the PDF files you open, called whitelisting and blacklisting. Additionally, predictable and streamlined patching features are available in Adobe Reader XI, along with improved deployment tool support and documentation. For those of you who are more technically minded, take a look at this White Paper on how Adobe Reader XI has taken security to new levels.

 

While we may not yet live in a world where we can whole-heartedly trust every email attachment we receive, you can still read easy knowing that you can securely open any PDF file with Adobe Reader XI. All that and it’s FREE too!

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