Adobe Acrobat Reader Virus Vulnerability

Discussion in 'Tools of the Trade' started by paper hollywood, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. Here's something that should be of particular interest to card modelers, since most of our models come from PDF files. According to F-Secure virus hunter Mikko Hypponen, security flaws in Adobe Reader are making it particularly vulnerable to virus attacks.

    I've been checking out the alternatives. So far, Foxit Reader looks like the best candidate, but it has one issue that inhibits it's utility for card modeling. It's print "Current View" feature is only usable with single page files. I've always used Current View to enlarge models in Adobe Reader. Other than that, Foxit looks fine. It's also smaller and faster than Adobe's.

    I'm still checking them out and I'll report if I find a better alternative.

  2. bf109

    bf109 Member


    he's talking about the browser plugin , so no need to be scared right away you can still use adobe outside the browser and offline , for the browser and just viewing and small tasks i'm using foxit for years ,much faster then adobe and works great :thumb:

    ps look at windows they give you security updates nearly every month that doesn't stop you from using it
    use a good firewall ,antivirus and check your comp regular for adware that keeps out a lot ( sry and update your comp)

    anyway thanks for the warning !! :thumb: helps everybody to be on there guard

    or as we say in holland : een gewaarschuwd mens telt voor twee :mrgreen:
  3. gman95687

    gman95687 Member

    and make sure you are using the latest version of Adobe as well and make sure when it is time to update it, you complete the latest updates....
  4. Stev0

    Stev0 Active Member

    Yeah I got hit by this as well. I was surprised to see that my browser suddenly wanted to open a pdf despite the fact that I did not click on anything to close to a pdf or pdf link.
  5. gman95687

    gman95687 Member

    just out of curiousity Stev0, what version of Adobe did you have-it might help us figure out what is vulnerable....
  6. BARX2

    BARX2 Member

    Also, Stev0 - how did you get rid of the malware? This has me bothered, because I do this pretty often. I use Firefox - I wonder if that's as vulnerable as IE in this case.
  7. Stev0

    Stev0 Active Member

    The version I had was the latest version because I was not able to open someone's models properly so I broke down and installed it.

    I am not sure if I have the malware installed. I was with the understanding that your browser would have to completely download the pdf. When I received a browser popup that asked me if I wanted to download the pdf mysteriously, I just closed the whole browser via the task manager. I have also turned off the acrobat plugin inside the browser and to be sure change the acrobat document handling to 'always ask' in the applications tab, both under options.

    I did have a serious infection that pretty much took over my system a couple of months ago. Nothing was getting rid of it. It installed a fake virus scanner that said I was infected with something and kept redirecting my browser to a certain website in order to buy their fake AV tool. My only option was a complete wipe after transferring my vital files.

    I'm not able to give anyone here any good news other than...

    In Firefox (latest version).
    1) Turn off opening PDF's within your browser.
    2) Change the handling of pdf's within your browser to 'always ask' so that you get a pop-up first as a warning.
    3) Never use a browser to open anything other than a web address.
  8. gman95687

    gman95687 Member

    At the time of this pdf infection, what web browser where you using IE or Firefox??

  9. Stev0

    Stev0 Active Member

    I use firefox.
  10. BARX2

    BARX2 Member

    Thanks for all the info. I went into Firefox options and set it to "always ask" for any Adobe Acrobat products.
  11. blueeyedbear

    blueeyedbear Member

    Invest in McAfee "Total Security". Install it. Do a full scan. Set for maximum protection in all categories and to automatically check for updates and to install them. Don't worry about viruses, malware, or adware!

    Oh, yeah,

    Remove all the crap from Norton. It will give you more trouble than it will help you. It's bad enough that when I bought a new computer in November, the dealer removed all the Norton stuff and installed McAfee before he would let the computer out of the store!

    Bob the blueeyedbear
  12. bf109

    bf109 Member

    you got a good dealer then bob! how many times i had to fix other peoples comp because of problems due to norton wall1 people only buy it still because of the name it HAD
  13. Stev0

    Stev0 Active Member

    Both Symantec and Norton are equally invasive when it comes to hogging system resources to the point where they eventually are no better than having your system infected by one or more virii.

    My girlfriend's system has McAfee on it and the system has an annoying lengthy boot up time. It also behaves as if it was never defragged with long access times and low transfer speeds. I want to wipe her system and reinstall XP but she wont let me do it because she wants time to take all her personal files off of it.

    I'm guessing it's like 3-5 years worth =X.

    For security. I have 2 Windows installations on 2 partitions. One for surfing and one for gaming. The gaming installation runs wide open with no AV or Firewall so that nothing interferes with my 'ping'. The surfing installation has all the protection I can give it.

    So you need to weigh how much protection you really need. Be aware the more locks you put on your doors, the longer it takes to get in and out. The best AV protection out there is personal vigilance and questioning everything you might click on.
  14. bf109

    bf109 Member

    i also have two systems 1 st is vista and a test system windows 7 (thats awesome)
    if tried mcafee also but had the same problem with it as stev0 (although it' seems you can turn off the virus check during boot up which accounts for the long boot up time)
    on vista i use avast (its free) and zonealarm and windows virus haven't had problems for about three years now on windows 7 i use avg because avast isn't compatible with it at the moment
  15. julescrafter

    julescrafter Member

    Thanks for the info man.. :thumb:
  16. Stev0

    Stev0 Active Member

    Well ... good times. I was surfing on FPSBanana (using my XP Game partition) for some weapon skins and had a bunch of popups. I closed everything out and left my Steam account open to download a game.

    When I came back up 15min+ later ... I had some crap installed telling me I was infected and a bunch of windows open. Just wow.

    Anyhow I booted into my surfing setup that has all the antivirus software installed and so begins the cleaning. I will let you know how that works out. I have a bunch of files coming up in the list and one is a .jar file and the other is ... a pdf.
  17. gman95687

    gman95687 Member

    is it possible that your Steam account has been hacked? I have seen some issues with those accounts on youtube and myspace to indicate that htey are having real security issues......
  18. Stev0

    Stev0 Active Member

    Perhaps... not sure how it's gonna work out.

    Here is the results of my scan so people can see what comes down the pipe.

    Attached Files:

  19. Stev0

    Stev0 Active Member


    That install of XP is now officially toast. Somehow I managed to kill all the infected files but it appears that my login for XP is stuck in a loop so it's adios to that working partition.

    Format partition.
    Install XP.
    Start again.
    Do NOT go to the website ever again.
    It's gonna take forever to DL and install all those games on Steam... arg.
  20. gman95687

    gman95687 Member

    Maybe think about contacting their tech support about your account security as well? It could very well be that you have a hacked account that keeps implanting malware onto your computer....

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