Thursday, April 23, 2009

Acrobat Reader became hacker heaven instead of God err Microsoft Word

With all the Internet attacks that exploit Adobe Acrobat Reader people should switch to using an alternative PDF reader, a security expert said at the RSA security conference on Tuesday.

Of the targeted attacks so far this year, more than 47 percent of them exploit holes in Acrobat Reader while six vulnerabilities have been discovered that target the program, Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer of security firm F-Secure, said in a briefing with journalists.

Just last month, Adobe issued a fix for an Acrobat Reader hole that attackers had been exploiting for months, after issuing a patch for a critical vulnerability in Flash player the month before.

In 2008, the favored targeted attack vector was Microsoft Word, which had 15 known vulnerabilities (compared to Acrobat Reader's 19) and which represented 34.5 percent of the attacks (compared to 28.6 percent for Acrobat Reader), he said.

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