Adobe Reader, blocked?

carolssisAugust 6, 2014

My friend, who is not very computer savvy was afraid to download Adobe Reader. I suggested she go to their site and download, but to also check EULA first to make sure it had no extra software attached. she emailed me back saying she had downloaded it, but now has it blocked until she needs it. This isn't something I'm familiar with so I wonder why she did it. Anyone have any idea? I thought the problems with adware, malware were coming in when downloading, not using the program. Am I wrong? TIa

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mikie_gw

Getting a pc user to open PDF files is one of the major ways virus writers infect computers.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 12:36PM
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SnidelyWhiplash

Reading an EULA is pointless - it's boilerplate legalese, nothing more. The safe approach is to download software only from the source (the company or individual that produced it) or from trusted sites - Source Forge, File Hippo, etc., Watch what boxes are checked or unchecked as the install progresses.

"Getting a pc user to open PDF files is one of the major ways virus writers infect computers."

By using a capable internet security product on your PC, you'll minimize or elminate this risk.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 2:09PM
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carolssis

What made her so wary was that she HAD Norton installed on her new computer. And she just spent the better part of the day on the phone with them removing adware, spyware, malware. I can understand her wariness, but just wondered about the use of a program already installed. I know the files she needs to open have been stored on and external hard drive, and came from her storing them on her old XP. I would assume that Norton is a "capable internet security product" and wonder how she got all the bad stuff on her new computer.
But is blocking the Adobe reader program useful? After it's installed?

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 9:09PM
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mikie_gw

I don't know if it is her anti-virus program or the adobe reader itself.. One of those two, for security reasons blocks it.

Pops a message, asking to allow it to open a pdf when she encounters one .. maybe with a short warning about trusts. Maybe with an option.. always allow this site.

Here's a little video about 7.5 minute from Adobe on their reader type products. Basically sounds like adobe pdf files are sandboxed now when run in protected mode. Runs in their own little secured environment. For version 11 anyhow.

Here is a link that might be useful: http://adobe.ly/x2344U

This post was edited by mikie on Wed, Aug 6, 14 at 22:37

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 9:41PM
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SnidelyWhiplash

Norton is regarded as capable, though nothing is 100%.

Adware and spyware aren't generally malicious. People can tend to overreact when a scanning program pops up something as benign as a cookie.

Sounds like maybe files were infected before leaving the old XP machine. Or, could have picked something up on the external drive. Or both.

Sorry, not enough info is provided to allow my making a suggestion. If she has access to work with Norton tech support, she should continue doing so (so long as things resembling warning flags pop up when she's trying to do something). They're experts, we here are amateurs.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2014 at 10:00PM
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carolssis

Way off base here, folks. She loaded the Adobe Reader, then she blocked it. The files on the external are ones she wrote, and have not been transferred to new computer. Sorry I mentioned them, just muddied the water. I assume she got her junkware while downloading new programs on her new computer.
I just don't understand the value of her blocking the Adobe program until she wants to use it. That's what I had never heard of. So, I question the value of that and why would you do it?

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 7:28AM
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mikie_gw

Block PDF is pretty much normal. I certainly approve each one to open on the web. I don't bother with adobe I just use firefox to open pdf's.. and the computer will ask me which program I want to open the pdf.

Probably her reading on security she knows opening pdf's can be a dangerous thing.

Here is a link that might be useful: http://www.pcworld.com/article/2027946/researchers-zero-day-pdf-exploit-affects-adobe-reader-11-earlier-versions.html

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 10:34AM
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carolssis

Thanks Mikie, I appreciate the link and answer. She seems to have some aversion to using Firefox, though I can't figure why. I tried to explain how easy it is to use, the explanations for what things are and how to use them are understandable, but she won't listen, and installed a different browser. Don't know why she asks for advice then refuses to take it. I gave her lots of options for browser, malware detection, virus detection, and she still managed to get a bunch of crap on her new computer. Don't understand how. The Norton is a 90day pre-install. I think I'm going to give up on the advice. I have a new computer also, and have not downloaded crapware doing installs of this that and the other. I guess I know a little more and understand more of what I do know. Thanks again for the help.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 6:23PM
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mikie_gw

Maybe she might be interested in this program ...

Here is a link that might be useful: http://unchecky.com/

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 10:05PM
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SnidelyWhiplash

The linked PC World article is 18 months old. So-called security gaps are often discussed with the affected company before public announcements are made. That problem might have been resolved before it was announced.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2014 at 11:01PM
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