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Adobe, Apple Issue Security Updates

Adobe has released an update to its free Adobe Reader application that corrects more than two dozen bugs, including several security holes. Separately, Apple this week pushed out a patch to plug a single security vulnerability in its iPhoto application.

Adobe Reader 8.1.2 is available for Windows, Mac, Linux and Solaris systems. Adobe hasn't released much information about the changes, other than the brief synopsis listed here. The latest version is available here.

A note to Windows Adobe Reader users: Unless you untick the pre-checked box, the installer will also try to give you a copy of "Photoshop Album Starter Edition." It is because of these kinds of add-ons and the general bloat and time delay associated with opening any type of PDF document in Reader that I long ago switched from Adobe to Foxit Reader. Foxit is much more lightweight, and it opens PDF documents in a snap.

Apple's update fixes a vulnerability in iPhoto. The company found that if a Mac user subscribes to a maliciously crafted photocast, the owner of that photocast could gain access and install software to the user's machine. As usual, the updates are available via the built-in Software Update feature, or from Apple Downloads.

Update, Feb 7, 9:25 a.m. ET: Apple released another patch on Wednesday, to plug a single security hole in its QuickTime media player. Updated versions of QuickTime are available for both Windows and Mac systems.

By Brian Krebs  |  February 6, 2008; 3:12 PM ET
Categories:  New Patches  
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Foxit reader s only free if I sign up for one of their various trial product offers. You should have made that clear in your article.

Posted by: john sweeney | February 6, 2008 5:14 PM | Report abuse

Foxit Reader is free. Perhaps you saw the link to the Pro version which isn't.

If you look down the page:


Foxit Reader is a free PDF document viewer and printer..."

Posted by: Bob Gaines | February 6, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

@John -- Foxit is free software. You can pay for Pro if you want, but there's no need to, if all you want to do is view PDF docs.

However, there are different ways to get at the free version on the link I provided. If you click on the "Get it for free" button, it takes you to some weird page that tries to get you to trial a bunch of other software. Click on the "download" link at the page I originally link to and you'll come to the right download page:

I will swap out the link in the original post above so that other readers are not similarly confused into thinking they need to buy this software.

Posted by: Bk | February 6, 2008 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the heads up on Foxit awhile back! It loads MUCH faster than Adobe. And to other readers: ignore websites which advise "Adobe only!" Foxit WILL download the files for you.

Posted by: KFritz | February 7, 2008 12:46 AM | Report abuse

My biggest gripe about Adobe Reader is that whenever I install an update of the program it ALWAYS, without asking, hijacks the file associations to make itself the default PDF viewer. Boo, hiss.

Foxit is indeed light on its feet, but when viewing long documents, especially those with annotations/comments, I prefer to use a PDF viewer that provides thumbnail views of pages and a panel for quickly finding annotations/comments wherever they might be in the document. Foxit unfortunately provides neither.

Posted by: t_joe | February 7, 2008 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Secunia has a blog write up on this:

"81.01% of all computers connected to the Internet needs to apply at least one security update to secure their computer, until updated, users risk falling victim of a hacker by simply: Visiting a website, opening a PDF file, viewing a movie, etc. - and this is just over a period of 24 hours"

Thankfully, none of these apply to my personal systems as I've blacklisted all these software programs! I would highly recommend such a strategy as it not only lowers your system's attack surface, but also greatly reduces the amount of patching required.

Don't forget other layers of defense:
Limited user account (non-admin)
Blocking hosts file

Posted by: TJ | February 7, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

i think that PDFs open in Preview on my MacBook.

don't open PDFs often enough to know any details about the formatting.

(or maybe it's JPEGs that open in Preview.)

ValleyDriver (San Fernando Valley)

Posted by: tom rusch | February 7, 2008 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Brian, On my mother-in-laws computer, I went to the adobe website and in one spot it implied that I didn't have to update her version 7.0.9 to a version 8.zz unless I wanted to. I assume I need to and that any older version would not be as secure as a newer version. Isn't that the case. Looks like I should go with foxit on her machine too, but she doesn't like me changing anything so I'll need to sell her on it.

Posted by: M in CT | February 7, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Foxit was OK, but I've since switched to PDF-XChange Viewer. I like the save feature in the free version. And it seems to look better too! While its not as light as Foxit, I feel the added features make PDF-XChange Viewer worthwhile.

Posted by: umm.huh | February 7, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

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