Foxit Corp has added new security features to its alternative PDF reader software to help thwart recent malware attacks that exploit  the “/launch” feature.

With Foxit PDF Reader Version 3.3, the company has added a Safe Mode that blocks external commands from being executed by the software.

The Safe Mode is a key part of a new Trust Manager in the Foxit PDF Reader.

Earlier this month, Foxit Reader adopted a warning message before running any executable command embedded in a PDF document.  

Hacker Finds a Way to Exploit PDF Files, Without Vulnerability ]

The changes follow the discovery by researcher Didier Stevens that dangerous executables can be embedded into PDF files (and executed) without exploiting any vulnerabilities.

The PDF hack, when combined with clever social engineering techniques,  allowed code execution attacks if a user simply opens a rigged PDF file.   Soon after, malicious hackers pounced on the trick and started launching malware attacks.

Adobe has offered a workaround for the issue and is considering a better fix in a future version of its ubiquitous Reader software.

Categories: Malware, Vulnerabilities