Feeds

Adobe readies critical Reader update

Root cause of PDF complexity hairball remains

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Adobe has promised to release a patch for a critical hole in its Adobe Reader and Acrobat PDF software next Tuesday (5 October).

The updates will address a zero-day cross-platform vulnerability first discovered three weeks ago that creates a possible mechanism for hackers to take over vulnerable PCs. The software developer plans to release Adobe Reader 9.3.4 for Windows, Macintosh and Unix, Adobe Acrobat 9.3.4 for Windows and Macintosh, and Adobe Reader 8.2.4 and Acrobat 8.2.4 for Windows and Macintosh next Tuesday a week ahead of its scheduled quarterly update, as explained in an advisory here.

Adobe plugged a related flaw in its Flash Player software with an out-of-sequence patch last week.

Adobe's applications rank second behind software from Microsoft as the favourite target for hackers and malware authors. For all its efforts to improve the patching and security process Adobe is still struggling to keep up its head above water. A big part of the reason for this is the complexity of the PDF format, which allows embedded JavaScript and all sorts of features of questionable utility to genuine users that serve as fodder for hacking attacks.

Anti-virus analyst Paul Baccas of Sophos Labs proposed replaceing PDF with a Safe Document Format during a presentation at the Virus Bulletin conference in Vancover on Thursday. Adobe plans to add sandboxing features to its Reader software, but Baccas said such a move does not go nearly far enough.

Three quarters of the security experts present at the talk agreed with the Sophos analyst in a show of hands, with only an estimated three per cent saying no change was needed. At the least JavaScript support ought to be dropped from PDF, Baccas argued, as explained in a blog post on his talk here. ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

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.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
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?