Adobe boosts security with Reader X

Adobe Reader X contains a sandboxing feature which will boost security, according to the software maker.

Adobe Reader

Adobe has made Reader X available with added security features and extra user interaction capabilities.

A key addition is the sandboxing technology found in the Protected Mode of Reader X.

This feature means all the activities required to render a PDF file will run inside a sandbox process with minimal access privileges to the operating system and other applications.

If Reader X does need to access other applications to render additional content, then such access will be provided under very strict rules.

This means any hacker who finds a flaw and is able to take control of Reader will get stuck inside the sandbox.

To successfully exploit a user's system would then require a two-stage attack to "do something interesting," Brad Arkin, Adobe's director for product security and privacy, told IT PRO last month.

"This is an exciting mitigation technology but it is not perfect. It is not going to fix every single possible problem but it will make it harder for bad guys to do interesting things," Arkin said.

The software is available now for download and allows for a greater degree of interaction, as users can offer feedback through the use of Sticky Notes' and highlighter tools.

Users can also view a larger array of content types in Reader X, including drawings, email messages, spreadsheets and videos.

An Android version has been launched as well, including support for tablets and for 13 different languages.

Adobe's Reader software has had numerous security vulnerabilities to deal with in recent months.

This week an emergency patch was pushed out to fix a number of critical vulnerabilities found in Reader and Acrobat.

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