Adobe Plugs 8 Security Holes in Reader
This post was updated at 12:20 p.m. to clarify what's new in this Adobe patch. See the update below the original post.
Adobe has issued an update to plug at least eight security holes in its PDF Reader software. The latest patch brings the current, patched, version of Adobe to 8.1.2.
If you're reading this post on a system that has Adobe Reader installed, please take a moment now to download and apply this update. Cyber crooks have recently added Adobe vulnerabilities to "Neosploit," a tool that automates the exploitation of outdated browser plug-ins when users visit certain malicious or hacked Web sites.
As Symantec notes, you don't have to be doing anything risky to get burned by running an outdated copy of Adobe Reader these days. Symantec writes: "If a user is enticed to a hostile Web site (who knows which ones are hostile these days) using the browser of their choice, it is reasonably likely that their computer will become infected provided that they have Acrobat installed on their computer."
If you're looking for a slimmed-down, free alternative to Adobe Reader that consumes far fewer system resources (and may be quite a bit more secure), I would wholeheartedly recommend Foxit Reader.
A clarification is in order here. I saw the date on this advisory (May 6), and assumed we had a new update for Adobe Reader. Turns out, that is only partly true. The vulnerabilities addressed in this update were fixed by Adobe back in February, so if you applied that patch, there is no reason to take any action here.
However, the company did not release details about those flaws at the time. This advisory changes that. More importantly, this advisory clarifies that Adobe has finally issued updates to fix these vulnerabilities for people still running version 7 of Adobe Reader. If you are running Adobe Reader 7, fixes for these eight security holes are now available.
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