Foxit Reader intros new Safe Reading feature

Foxit Reader intros new Safe Reading feature

Summary: The latest version of the Foxit Reader, includes the new Safe Reading Mode feature, protecting users from a wide range of malicious PDF file actions. A test using a malicious PDF file, proves just how useful the feature really is.

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With numerous reports, continuing to highlight the rise of malicious PDFs, in combination with DIY crimeware tools acts as a key driving force for the growth of cybercrime, end users and companies are constantly looking for ways to mitigate the risks posed by the ubiquitous PDF format.

This week, Adobe's main competitor in respect to the timely introduced security features responding to in-the-wild threats, has once again reacted to the current cyber threat landscape, by introducing a new feature in the latest Foxit Reader v3.3.

More details on the new feature, including a test using a spamvertised malicious PDF relying on the /Launch command:

The Foxit Reader 3.3 enables users to allow or deny unauthorized actions and data transmission, including URL connection, attachments PDF actions, and JavaScript functions; efficiently avoiding the attack from malicious contents and viruses. Enables users to show or hide the Ask Search Button in the Preferences menu.

The "Enable Safe Reading Mode" feature is not just alerting the end user, it's actually preventing any further interactions with the malicious PDF file. This is where the true usefulness of the feature really is, as you can see in the attached screenshot, using a spamvertised malicious PDF file, using the “/launch” command.

For a truly safe, PDF format experience, disabling JavaScript Actions from Tools -> Preferences -> JavaScript -> Disable JavaScript Actions, is also highly recommended.

Windows users running the Foxit Reader, in a combination with well configured NoScript for Firefox, least privilege accounts, decent host-based firewall, lack of any outdated third-party applications on their host, and sandboxing/isolated web browsing habits, mitigate a huge percentage of the currently active exploitation tactics used by cybercriminals.

So, what are you waiting for? The time has come to migrate to an alternative PDF reader.

Topics: Open Source, Security

Dancho Danchev

About Dancho Danchev

Dancho Danchev is an independent security consultant and cyber threats analyst, with extensive experience in open source intelligence gathering, malware and cybercrime incident response.

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21 comments
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  • How do I get reply notifications in my email like before? NT

    <b> </b>
    AzuMao
  • RE: Foxit Reader intros new Safe Reading feature

    And why the heck doesnt Adobe do such a thing? Because they suck at security.
    jimk_z
  • Best of all..

    The new trust manager is on by default.... nice .
    Ceridan
  • Not quite sure I'm with you here, Dancho.

    Why isn't turning off Javascript, Launching, etc. just as effective with Adobe Reader?

    That is exactly what they've suggested to do through their own announcements.

    It seems you are recommending a hoped-for security by obscurity. But if people really took up Foxit, then the attacks will be just as strong there.

    Isn't a much better solution in fact to use Google's PDF Viewer to view initially, and then let the better internet security programs, among which I now rate Norton as highly as such protections can be rated, scan those documents you choose to download, so that bad ones are discovered before opening?

    All security in such a threat environment is imperfect, works better if layered, yes? I wonder how you judge this set of layers.
    Narr vi
  • RE: Foxit Reader intros new Safe Reading feature

    Great!!! thanks for sharing this information to us!
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    efsane
  • Thank you for sharing!

    This software has many features with high quality, easy to use, and small size. Foxit's interface looks the way you expect a PDF reader to look. I am using this software since long and I will still use it.
    LESA5
  • small but good

    Thanks for sharing! I have download it and use it. For me a casual pdf userit is a great program and provides all that I need to view pdf type files.
    bernice_wei
  • Great Program, never let me down!

    This pdf reader is great for people like me who read a lot of pdf docs and want to save on printing costs. I don't use it to collaborate with anyone, so I don't know how that works, but judging by the other great features, I'm sure I'll like it. Like,One Foxit window can hold several files via tabs that allow you to navigate between articles easily and which helps keep your toolbar clutter free!
    charesy
  • Reliable app.

    Leave me nice pdf viewing exprecience.
    xiah_
  • Excellent alternative to Adobe.

    This program is of acceptable size (about 24Mb), not a resources hog, easy to use, and free.
    Dotty_w
  • Excellent!

    If all you're looking for is something LIGHTNING QUICK to read your PDF files, then you can't pass this app!
    Leko_
  • The best PDF Program

    It's a great programm and offers us so fast and so clear pdf
    presentation.
    Mikan278
  • Great Investment

    Good and stable!
    sophiec478
  • Great app.

    That, lightweight, fast speed, easy operation, offers me a convenient environment for dealing with PDF documents.
    Carriebr
  • Great PDF viewer!

    Foxit Reader is an application with a small footprint that starts up instantly, renders PDF files quickly and uses very little memory.
    Alex0344
  • Updated to 5.4.5!

    Been using Foxit Reade for many years, and I have really enjoyed the simplicity and quickness of converting Zip files. I had updated to Reader 5.4.5., which is the latest version.
    Massi_e
  • Good light PDF

    Nice presentation of PDF files love the side thumbnails preview and smooth scrolling .
    yui0304_
  • Excellent App!

    Its just the one what i was looking for.
    Henry_33
  • Excellent App!

    Its just the one what i was looking for.
    Henry_33
  • What I've been looking for!

    Light footprint and easy on system resources.
    shirleyko