Study: 6 out of every 10 users run vulnerable Adobe Reader

Study: 6 out of every 10 users run vulnerable Adobe Reader

Summary: Anti-malware vendor Avast Software is reporting that six out of every 10 of its users are running an outdated version of Adobe Reader.

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Anti-malware vendor Avast Software is reporting that six out of every 10 of its users are running an outdated version of Adobe Reader.

In a statement, the company said:

An analysis of avast! antivirus users found that 60.2% of those with Adobe Reader were running a vulnerable version of the program and only 40% of users had the newest Adobe Reader X or were fully patched. One out of every five users also had an unpatched version of Adobe Reader that was at least two generations old (8.x).

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Adobe Reader is the most popular PDF reader application and subsequently is the biggest target for malware writers. Over 80% of avast! users run a version of Adobe Reader, with Foxit, the second most popular PDF reader, having a much smaller user share of 4.8%.

These numbers are worrisome when you take into account that the Adobe software is always among the most commonly exploited programs.  It's important to note, too, that there are specialized PDF exploit packs targeting users running outdated versions of Adobe Reader.

If you must use Adobe Reader, it's very important to update to Adobe Reader X with Protected View (aka “sandboxing”). Windows users should also and opt into the automatic update option.

Topics: Enterprise Software, Malware, Security

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6 comments
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  • RE: Study: 6 out of every 10 users run vulnerable Adobe Reader

    I am endlessly bugged by Adobe Reader. I just ended up using PDF-Exchange PDF Reader instead because Reader seemed to need endless updating and had fewer useful features. Blergh.
    nuggs_mullen
    • RE: Study: 6 out of every 10 users run vulnerable Adobe Reader

      @nuggs_mullen

      Useful features? I would speculate that 90% of Adobe Reader users use it for one reason, and one reason alone: to read .pdf files. Anything more than this and most corporate users move to the full version of Adobe Acrobat.
      Nucl3ar
  • Linux is safe folks

    no vulnerabilities here!
    Linux Geek
    • RE: Study: 6 out of every 10 users run vulnerable Adobe Reader

      @Linux Geek

      And do tell what exactly about the underlying operating system would make the vulnerabilities in the application disappear? (Hint: they don't)
      forrestgump2000@...
  • RE: Study: 6 out of every 10 users run vulnerable Adobe Reader

    I good number of them aren't running adobe reader often enough to care. Maybe once or twice a week.
    LoverockDavidson
  • RE: Study: 6 out of every 10 users run vulnerable Adobe Reader

    I need safety work and no waste time to switch off malware. I had replaced Adobe to PDF-XChange and never regretted my decision. It has an excellent feature set and never gave a trouble.
    Andre Sid