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Adobe and Microsoft Warn of Critical Security Flaws

 5:00 pm on Jun 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

Adobe and Microsoft Warn of Critical Security Flaws [uk.reuters.com]
Microsoft Corp issued software to fix a record 31 security flaws in its programs, and Adobe Systems Inc warned that glitches in its products could let hackers take control of a user's PC.

Microsoft released patches on Tuesday that repair vulnerabilities in Windows, Office and Internet Explorer, as well as key pieces of software that businesses use in their data centers.

Adobe said in a security bulletin on its website that Reader and Acrobat users should update their software to the newest versions. Additional software is available if those releases are not compatible with a customer's PC.
Adobe said the threat applies to users of Windows PCs as well as Apple Inc's Macintosh computers.



 8:48 pm on Jun 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

Isn't there something really wrong with a document reader (PDF) when a vulnerability can let someone control your PC? Seriously?


 10:14 pm on Jun 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

No, actually not.

There's something really really wrong with an operating system when a vulnerability can let a program take over the computer.

If an operating system is done right, this can't happen, whether the application is a document reader or a shoot-em-up game or even a user-written program (and who knows what users are up to these days?)


 11:57 pm on Jun 10, 2009 (gmt 0)

This probably includes LiveCycle which I use to create PDF forms with. Ouch!


 1:53 am on Jun 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

A quick solution to both problems exists.

- Open Internet Explorer
- Visit tools/Internet options and choose the connections tab.
- Click on the connection button and then on LAN settings.
- Select the "Use a proxy server for your lan" checkbox (un-select every other option you see).
- Enter as your proxy address, port 80 and save.

This will completely disable Internet Explorer and will also cause any automatic updates or connections that aren't being initiated by you to fail. Of course IE won't work either but you can use other browsers.

Why do this? Because many viruses and hacks set to hijack your computer rely on Microsoft (operating system) to get in and anything microsoft related defaults to trying to use the same configuration as IE does when connecting to the net.

If you don't use IE anyway disabling it as mentioned above is an option.

edit: automatic adobe updates will also fail, they default to using IE settings. This is a temporary fix and will mean getting updates later on when you go to use the software (legitimate calls are blocked) but at the same time a hacker can't trick your system to check for an update from his/her servers either.

[edited by: JS_Harris at 2:01 am (utc) on June 11, 2009]


 8:32 am on Jun 11, 2009 (gmt 0)

A quick solution to both problems exists.

Not a solution I would endorse unless my system had been compromised. There are other programs that rely on those settings as well...could be your AV or other security software...


 2:27 am on Jun 12, 2009 (gmt 0)

I wouldn't endorse it for normal use either but if you suspect a virus keeps returning and you don't see any new entries in the scheduled tasks folder of your control panel locking IE down for a bit may give you time to fix the problem. I'd consider a news release declaring 31 new security issues a problem, especially since IE can't be deleted on windows based computers.

[edited by: JS_Harris at 2:29 am (utc) on June 12, 2009]

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