Thursday, 17 December 2009

Massive Adobe Acrobat security flaw and how to protect yourself

If you use Acrobat or Reader (and I'm pretty sure most people do!) you need to be aware of a nasty security flaw that can be used to deliver malware to your computer. There are more details here, but fortunately protecting yourself isn't too difficult and won't make your life any more difficult:

In the meantime, users should configure their programs to disable javascript. This can be done in Reader by opening up preferences, selecting the javascript tab and unchecking the box that says "Enable Acrobat javascript." Remember, there's no compelling reason for ever allowing javascript in Acrobat, and the computer you save may be your own.

Just fucking do it, OK?


Mark Wadsworth said...

Obo, I'm not sure if you phrased the poll question correctly.

The government 'should' (and must) carry out (or sub-contract) 'core functions of a state', which are quite simply things that:
a) the free market would not provide (because of free rider problem)
b) only the state can do/the free market cannot provide (you can't have competing private armies)
c) which add value.

Lighthouses and national defence fall into (a). They can of course be sub-contracted but have to be paid for out of some kind of taxation as there is no identifiable customer (sure, lighthouses should be paid for by harbour charges on ships that dock nearby, a bit rough and ready but it will do).

Things like ID-cards fall into category (b) of course, but they do not add value, so fail that test and are not a core function.

Welfare (and other universal benefits like healthcare or education vouchers) also fall into category (b), there is just the question of whether they add value. Education vouchers of £4,000 per pupil per annum probably add value (subsidising a merit good/public good) but education vouchers of £10,000 per pupil per annum would destroy value.

manwiddicombe said...

Cheers for the heads up Obo.

microdave said...

"Truly paranoid users may want to dump reader in favor of of an alternative such as Foxit."

You don't have to be paranoid to use Foxit - just appreciative of a lightweight, fast loading programme that takes up a fraction of the space and resources...

Anonymous said...

Done it.

Thanks for the warning.

The Refuser said...

Thanks Obo

Joe Public said...


Jayce Kay said...

Nicely done, ta.

Prodicus said...


David Gillies said...

I use evince under Linux and Preview on my Mac. Adobe's quality control has been going south for a while.

Anonymous said...

I use Nuance PDF Converter Pro

I would never give even a shitty end of a stick to Adobe. Cunts and I hope they have a BA funeral, soon.

Lord Mandelbottom of Marrakech said...

Darling Obo, us Mac users simply pass everything off to the Preview App. No fucking Adobe on my machine.

State Nme said...

I , too, am a smug Mac cunt...and use Preview (it even stitches together pdfs). Sometimes an even smugger Linux/Thinkpad combo user.

However, I do have Adobe for testing; eg some weird anomalies occur when exporting pdf format from OpenOffice - if then opened by Adobe Acrobat professional.

So cheers for the HeadsUp Obo
(And Flashplayer 10 on the Mac...WTF?! Bizarre Adobe haven't got that right. And to use BBC iPlayer you have to install more Adobe proprietary shit!?)