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McAfee predicted that in 2010, hackers would use the Adobe software to infect computers. They were correct!!

Criminals use Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat to download and run malicious programs on a targets computer by fooling the user into opening an infected PDF file. Almost all computer users now use the Adobe Acrobat package for everyday use, and therefore very popular for hackers. Adobe is working on a patch to eliminate the problem, but in the meantime, all users are at risk.

What does this threat do?

A Vulnerability (a weakness) has been found by criminal hackers in the Adobe software. An attempt to download a malicious program called a Trojan allows criminals to access the victim ‘computer. This allows the criminal to steal credit card details, names, address, eBay user name and password, PayPal account details and much more, as well as allowing the hacker to remotely control the computer

Who is at risk?

Anybody who use's Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat, this is the majority of computer users, as we all use this program to read email attachments, web documents. Those who have no or free antivirus software packages are at higher risk. Many free antivirus software packages will install malware on computers, those who have the paid for and better antivirus software packages, the risk is highly decreased.

How to reduce the risk?

I highly recommend purchasing a known antivirus software package. I highly recommend one, but cannot list it on here. You can also significantly reduce the risk by turning off JavaScript  in your adobe product. (Please see below for how to do this)

How to turn off JavaScript in your Adobe Package?

Open your Adobe Reader or Acrobat package, then go to Edit, then preferences. A new box will appear on the screen, please click JavaScript. On the right hand side of the box, please untick Enable Acrobat JavaScript and press ok.

How To Avoid The Threat

   1. Make sure you have a well known, and paid for security package. Run a full system scan
   2. Turn off JavaScript in your Adobe product until a fix is available from Adobe.
   3. Keep your computer up to date with all Windows updates and latest security updates from your security package
   4. Don’t use free security scans that pop-up on many web sites. All too often these are fake, using scare tactics to try to get you to purchase their full service. In many cases these are actually infecting you while they run.
   5. Don’t open files attached to emails or instant messages unless you know exactly who it came from and what is in the file.
   6. Don’t download files from BitTorrent, LimeWire or other peer-to-peer networks. Criminals have learned to use them to distribute viruses, trojans and worms.
   7. Make sure you have complete backups of your computer.
   8. Change your password on a regular basis. Make sure they are not easy to guess passwords, use a combination of letters and numbers
   9. Use an internet browser with strong security such as Firefox, Opera or IE 8.0.

How do I know if I am infected?

If you are infected when opening a PDF file you may see your Adobe product close and reopen with a blank PDF file.



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