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Adobe Reader Protected Mode to fortify widely exploited Reader with security sandbox

Adobe announced “Adobe Reader Protected Mode” (or “sandboxing”). The protected mode will run by default to force the document reader to run in a highly restricted environment that prevents underlying PC from carrying out sensitive functions. Installing and deleting files, modifying the system registry and launching other programs will no longer be possible under most circumstances.

“The idea is to run the app with lower rights so that even if a bad guy figures out how to take over a process, they can’t do much with it,” Brad Arkin told. “The benefit to our customers is it adds another layer of defense so that even if there’s a vulnerability that someone is able to exploit, impact of that attack is diminished.” “We’ve done everything we can to build the walls of that sandbox as tall as possible,” Arkin said. “We’re not sure how the offensive community will react. They may move on to a different product and attack QuickTime instead, or they may look at other apps easier to attack. Or they may find clever ways to carry out some type of malicious activity against Reader which’re quite different than the attack techniques that they use today.”


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