Security of Adobe PDF Readers Compromised - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Security of Adobe PDF Readers Compromised

Posted: Updated:

KENNEWICK, Wash.-- A potentially dangerous security flaw has been found in an extremely popular computer program, Adobe PDF readers.  This flaw could allow hackers to take over your computer.

Both the new and old versions of Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader are affected.  The makers of Adobe acknowledged the flaw in a recent security bulletin.

Basically, hackers are embedding PDF documents with viruses and other malicious code.  Then, when users open an infected document using Adobe readers, the code secretly installs and hackers take control of the computer.  These so called 'zombie' computers are used to spread spyware, viruses, and spam.  

There are already reports of these attacks, but the problem doesn't appear to be widespread so far.  Adobe says a patch may not be ready until March 11th.        

In the mean time, if you currently use Adobe,  switch to another PDF reader if you can, and make sure to only open documents from people you know.

A few other tips:

1.  Disable Javascript in Adobe.  Just Click: Edit > Preferences >JavaScript and uncheck Enable Acrobat JavaScript

2.  Prevent Internet Explorer, or whatever browser you us, from automatically displaying PDF documents.  This will give you a chance to close a potentially dangerous PDF document before it opens.

3.  Be very suspicious of PDF documents.  Don't open a PDF document from any unknown source.