University of Vermont

Information Technology

Updated Security Warning for Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat

Protect Against Malicious PDF Files

Adobe Reader XI

Update (2013-02-19): Adobe has announced plans for an update this week for "Adobe Reader and Acrobat XI (11.0.01 and earlier) for Windows and Macintosh, X (10.1.5 and earlier) for Windows and Macintosh, 9.5.3 and earlier 9.x versions for Windows and Macintosh, and Adobe Reader 9.5.3 and earlier 9.x versions for Linux":

Please watch the link above for news of the update that should fix these particular vulnerabilities in Acrobat 9, and  apply the update as soon as it's available.  

Do you use Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat?  (Reader is used to view PDF files, and Acrobat is used to create them.)   Please be especially cautious about PDF files you receive as email attachments or download from web sites, since both Reader and Acrobat, on Windows and Macintosh alike, have security flaws that cyber criminals are actively taking advantage of to infect computers with malicious software.  Adobe has not yet released a fix for these flaws.  Here are steps you can take to protect yourself until a fix is released.  

For Windows computers:

Protected View is a safety feature found in Reader XI (11.x) and Acrobat version XI.  In the Protected View, a yellow bar displays on top of the Reader window, and while you can still read PDF files, some others features are not available.  You can explicitly enable features for documents you trust.  

If your Windows computer is joined to the Campus domain, ETS will push an update on Tuesday, Feb. 19 that will turn on Protected View.  No further action is required on your part.  

If your Windows computer is not joined to the Campus domain, and it is running Reader XI or Acrobat XI, you can turn on Protected View yourself by following Adobe's instructions for Acrobat and Reader.   If your computer's version of Reader or Acrobat is older than XI, upgrade to XI and turn on Protected View.  

For Macintosh computers:  

Use the Preview application to view and manipulate PDF files.  If you need to run Adobe Reader, it's time to upgrade to Reader XI.

Please email with any questions or concerns.    

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