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Adobe Reader X released with enhanced security

Adobe has released the next-generation version of its Reader software that includes a protected mode to prevent attacks through PDF files.

The release of Adobe Reader X on Windows follows closely behind Adobe Acrobat X.

Both products include the protected mode, which uses a sandbox approach to prevent hacker attacks and has been built with input from business users and from across the software industry, including Microsoft and Google.

The security initiatives are aimed at reducing both the frequency and the impact of security vulnerabilities, said Adobe.

The company has been plagued by security problems and has had to issue several unscheduled patches to defend against attacks using PDF files.

Adobe blames the increase in attacks on its the huge user base and the trend towards attackers exploiting vulnerabilities in third-party applications.

"Adobe Reader Protected Mode represents an exciting new advancement in mitigating the impact of attempted attacks," said Brad Arkin, senior director of product security and privacy at Adobe.

While sandboxing is not a security silver bullet, it provides a strong additional level of defence against attacks, he said.

According to Arkin, even if exploitable security vulnerabilities are found by an attacker, Adobe Reader Protected Mode will help prevent the attacker from writing files or installing malware on potential victims' computers.


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