Feeds

Adobe (finally) adds security sandbox to Reader

Locking down widely exploited app

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

At long last, Adobe Systems has added a new security protection to Windows versions of its ubiquitous document reader that's designed to lock down one of the world's most exploited applications.

The so-called sandbox, isolates Reader from sensitive Windows operations, such as the changing of operating system registry settings and the modification of sensitive files. The new feature, dubbed Protected Mode, is intended to lessen the damage malicious hackers can wreak when they exploit buffer overflows and similar flaws that inevitably arise in any piece of complex software.

“While sandboxing is not a security silver bullet, it provides a strong additional level of defense against attacks,” Brad Arkin, Adobe's senior director of product security and privacy, wrote here. “Even if exploitable security vulnerabilities are found by an attacker, Adobe Reader Protected Mode will help prevent the attacker from writing files or installing malware on potential victims’ computers.”

Adding the technology to an existing piece of software is a monumental task, developers have said. To make Protected Mode as effective as possible, Arkin said Adobe engineers worked with counterparts at Google and Microsoft, which have fortified the Chrome Browser and Office and Internet Explorer respectively with a similar feature. Mozilla Firefox has yet to add sandboxing, and has provided no timetable for doing so.

Reader's automatic updating feature has yet to alert us to the availability of new version, which is called Reader X, and it's not clear when that might happen. Those who want to download it immediately may do so here. While Protected Mode is available only for Windows, Reader X is also available for Mac OS X and Android. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
'Kim Kardashian snaps naked selfies with a BLACKBERRY'. *Twitterati gasps*
More alleged private, nude celeb pics appear online
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Freenode IRC users told to change passwords after securo-breach
Miscreants probably got in, you guys know the drill by now
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
BitTorrent's peer-to-peer chat app Bleep goes live as public alpha
A good day for privacy as invisble.im also reveals its approach to untraceable chats
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
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?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.