PDF readers – security and alternatives

I have been using alternative PDF reader for a while, what whats that pushed me to do that? Simple, it was these huge vulnerabilities that everybody were talking in ADOBE products. I didn’t want to be a victim of some kind of nasty virus, so I tried to look for alternatives. I have found some and want to share them with you.  Also it is not only the security, some of these products leave less footprint in system and are more lightweight in terms of size and also run faster.

Most of those who use windows also mostly use Adobe reader as default PDF file reader, somewhere this relates to usage of open source products. According to statistic of International OpenOffice market shares http://www.webmasterpro.de/portal/news/2010/02/05/international-openoffice-market-shares.html usage of Ms office is around 80%, so we can say that same statistics can be applied to PDF reader market where about 90% are using Adobe reader (I did not get this from any official statistics just presumption on previous statistic link) and rest using some other open source PDF reader. Well you may ask whats wrong with that? Nothing, just that according to F-secure Adobe Reader is most attacked application, read full article here: http://news.techworld.com/security/3214895/adobe-reader-most-attacked-application-says-f-secure/). You can google around and you will find lots of exploits and vulnerabilities found in Adobe reader. Also ever checked what’s the footprint left on your pc after Adobe reader instalation, hmmm 🙂 huge and installation size also is quite big. What’s the solution? Use other PDF file reader. You can check Best Free Non-Adobe PDF Readers here: http://www.techsupportalert.com/best-free-non-adobe-pdf-reader.htm. Well these are lightweight, fast and kind a secure alternatives for PDF file reader. Security in those readers is mostly because of not supporting the features (forms, Flash, scripting, etc.). Hey but if you just need lightweight, fast and kinda secure PDF reader these are good alternatives.

To make Adobe reader more secure they will strengthen the security controls in the Adobe Reader application by adding sandboxing in the next release add a Protected Mode–borrowing the name from the security feature in Microsoft Internet Explorer. The Protected Mode will provide a sandboxing capability, confining processes such as JavaScript and image parsing in separate areas to prevent malicious–or even legitimate–software from modifying core files, accessing other running processes, or installing or deleting files. Well some of other player in PDF field like FoxIt Reader and Nuance PDF Reader have similar security controls and then some, and these products are available now.

Well now I have informed about possible alternative and positive and negative things about pdf readers, it is up to you decide which one to use.

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This entry was posted in IT Security, Week 17. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to PDF readers – security and alternatives

  1. Pingback: PDF on a Mac – Apple’s Preview Review « Simple Is Working

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