Adobe bundles Chrome plugin with Reader fixes

The plugin means Chrome users can easily convert web pages to PDF

Adobe Reader's latest security update appears to have an added extra a Google Chrome extension, which adds the Adobe Acrobat plugin to your Chrome browser.

Although it's nothing malicious it just enables any Chrome user to easily convert web pages into PDF the fact Adobe is doing this without informing users beforehand has been criticised by the security community.

Advertisement - Article continues below

One researcher, Troy Hunt, noticed strange goings on when he was installing the update, which was designed to fix a flaw that could potentially allow hackers to take control of the user's system.

Hunt told Wired: "[The plugin] auto-installed. I literally walked up to my PC and the prompt was already there."

The prompts he refers to include allowing Chrome to read and change all data on the websites a user visits, manage downloads and communicate with cooperating native applications.

The plugin isn't activated until these permissions receive the OK, however, it's important to note that if the requests for access are rejected, the Adobe Reader security fix will still be installed properly.

While this incident seems simply to be a case of Adobe trying to boost installations of the Reader plugin on Chrome, throwing up prompts that look like they're part of the security fix installation but in reality are malicious it a technique often used by hackers.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement - Article continues below

In a support document, Adobe said: "Information collected [by the plugin] will be used to develop new features and improve Adobe products," adding that no personally identifiable information is sent back to the company. It also said that, although the plugin does see what URLs the user visits in order to "allow the extension to convert HTML content to PDF", it doesn't send this information back to Adobe either.

Main image credit: Bigstock

Featured Resources

Preparing for long-term remote working after COVID-19

Learn how to safely and securely enable your remote workforce

Download now

Cloud vs on-premise storage: What’s right for you?

Key considerations driving document storage decisions for businesses

Download now

Staying ahead of the game in the world of data

Create successful marketing campaigns by understanding your customers better

Download now

Transforming productivity

Solutions that facilitate work at full speed

Download now
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/security/ransomware/356292/university-of-california-gets-fleeced-by-hackers-for-114-million
ransomware

University of California gets fleeced by hackers for $1.14 million

30 Jun 2020
Visit/security/cyber-security/356289/australia-announces-135b-investment-in-cybersecurity
cyber security

Australia announces $1.35 billion investment in cyber security

30 Jun 2020
Visit/cloud/cloud-security/356288/csa-and-issa-form-cybersecurity-partnership
cloud security

CSA and ISSA form cyber security partnership

30 Jun 2020
Visit/business/policy-legislation/356215/senators-propose-a-bill-aimed-at-ending-warrant-proof-encryption
Policy & legislation

Senators propose a bill aimed at ending warrant-proof encryption

24 Jun 2020

Most Popular

Visit/business/business-operations/356395/nvidia-overtakes-intel-as-most-valuable-us-chipmaker
Business operations

Nvidia overtakes Intel as most valuable US chipmaker

9 Jul 2020
Visit/laptops/29190/how-to-find-ram-speed-size-and-type
Laptops

How to find RAM speed, size and type

24 Jun 2020
Visit/hardware/components/356405/is-it-time-to-put-intel-outside
components

Is it time to put Intel Outside?

10 Jul 2020