Feeds

It's official: Adobe Reader is world's most-exploited app

The new Microsoft

Boost IT visibility and business value

Adobe's ubiquitous Reader application has replaced Microsoft Word as the program that's most often targeted in malware campaigns, according to figures compiled by F-Secure.

Files based on Reader were exploited in almost 49 per cent of the targeted attacks of 2009, compared with about 39 per cent that took aim at Microsoft Word. By comparison, in 2008, Acrobat was targeted in almost 29 per cent of attacks and Word was exploited by almost 35 per cent.

"Why has it changed?" F-Secure asks here. "Primarily because there has been more vulnerabilities in Adobe Acrobat/Reader than in the Microsoft Office applications."

Underscoring the surge of Reader attacks, online thugs recently unleashed a new malware campaign that exploits vulnerabilities patched three weeks ago in the widely-used program. The attacks target financial institutions with a PDF file with a name that refers to the so-called Group of 20 most influential economic powers. F-Secure and Microsoft have additional details here and here.

When victims click on the file with unpatched versions of Reader, the file installs a backdoor that causes their system to connect to a server at tiantian.ninth.biz.

Other applications included in Microsoft Office also experienced sharp declines in exploitation. PowerPoint attacks dropped from almost 17 per cent in 2008 to less than five per cent last year. Excel fell from about 17 per cent to less than eight per cent. ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft: We plan to CLEAN UP this here Windows Store town
Paid-for apps that provide free downloads? Really
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
Who needs hackers? 'Password1' opens a third of all biz doors
GPU-powered pen test yields more bad news about defences and passwords
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Hear ye, young cyber warriors of the realm: GCHQ wants you
Get involved, get a job and then never discuss work ever again
Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report
Classified data on flight's disappearance pinched
Microsoft cries UNINSTALL in the wake of Blue Screens of Death™
Cache crash causes contained choloric calamity
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?