New major malware attack for PDF users

Security companies alerted PDF users today of a new malware attack that hopes to exploit users of PDFs by using an unpatched design flaw in the PDF format. Mary Grace Gabriel, a research engineer in CA Inc.’s security group, stated on her blog, ‘CA ISBU recently received spam emails disguised as a legitimate email from ‘your Company System Admin’. The spam mail informs the recipient about a recent change in mailbox servers and requires the user to check the malicious PDF attachment containing the instructions to update mail settings.’

She goes on to note that the PDFs actually contain malware and use the PDF /launch function to start the malware attack on Windows PCs who are using the Adobe System’s Acrobat application or Adobe Reader. This is also affecting other PDF viewers including Foxit Reader.

Adobe has still not officially responded to this new malware issue, but Brad Arkin head of Adobe security and privacy did not on his blog dated April 13th, that the company is aware of the new issues cited by several security companies and is working to address the security overall for both Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader users.

Arkin announced the Adobe Reader Updates also in the blog post and encouraged users to install the update as soon as possible noting, ‘Most users who ever encountered a security problem using Adobe products were attacked via a known vulnerability that was patched in more recent versions of the software. This is why we’ve invested so much in the new Adobe Reader Updater that goes into full production with our Tuesday April 13, 2010 release.’

Security companies continue to warn PDF users to be suspect of e-mails with PDF attachments that might be rogue and to make sure that users are cautious when opening PDFs.

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About the Author: Nettie Hartsock

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