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Death To Acrobat Reader

Acrobat Reader is a constant sore spot for me. Thanks to the various security holes it has in older versions, I've had to clean up many a system that have been infected by hidden embedded PDFs that take advantage of those security problems. When I'm cleaning up a system, one of the most common things I'll do it just flat-out turn off JavaScript in Acrobat or install another PDF reader. Just to be safe, I'll still turn off JavaScript in FoxIt. Has anybody seen useful JavaScript in PDF files? I haven't.

Ideally, PDF would be a browser-native format that wouldn't require plugins or external programs to view them. But there are at least a few other ways to do things: Thanks to Waxy, I now know how I'm going to embed PDFs into pages: Use an undocumnted featured in Google Docs to stick it right on the page. That way hopefully nobody will have Acrobat Reader execute to view the file, which will cause much less trouble for everybody involved.

Apparently other services offer similar functionality, like PDFMeNot.

Sadly, though, if you try to print the embedded document, it still appears to open your default PDF reader, but it's a step in the right direction.

Posted by Jake on 09/13/09 @ 10:15 PM
Posted in Cool, Geekdom | Permalink

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