Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Security Updates: Adobe Reader, iPhoto, Internet Explorer/Social Networks

If you use Adobe Reader to view PDF files, go get the latest version (8.1.2). This version includes many bug fixes and patches for several security holes. If you use iPhoto (Mac people only), make sure to run Software Update to get the latest version -- there's a security hole that needs fixing. Brian Krebs has the details.

Larry Dignan says that Adobe Reader should be prompting you to update when you run it. I can't say for sure -- I uninstalled Adobe Reader long ago.


If you use Adobe Reader, I do have to ask why. I run FoxIt. It's much smaller to download and way faster to start up. It renders every PDF file I've ever looked at without a glitch.

One hiccup: if you like clicking on PDF links while surfing, and reading the files right in your browser, FoxIt doesn't do this very well. For that purpose, I recommend the Firefox add-on somewhat confusingly called PDF Download. It does do downloads, if you want, but it does a lot more. Click on a PDF link and the add-on will pop up a window offering various ways to handle the file. The feature I usually use is "convert to HTML." This option converts the PDF file on the fly, right in your browser. It doesn't always work perfectly, but it usually does a good enough job for reading text and seeing most graphics. If the result is unsatisfactory, you can always download the file and use FoxIt to look at it. These two bits of free software are much better than Adobe Reader, IMNSHO.

If you use Internet Explorer, I really have to ask why. Just don't. Get Firefox. Or any other browser. Reserve IE exclusively for doing Windows Updates.


Where was I? Oh, yeah. There have been a number of security holes published lately that describe how to make life miserable for people who use IE to upload photos to Facebook, MySpace, and other social networking sites, as well as those who use Yahoo! Jukebox. Microsoft has not yet issued a patch to address this problem, but Krebs has details and info on a workaround for those who insist on using IE. More gory details (slightly older) here and here on the TrendLabs Malware Blog.


Beth said...

Thanks - re: Adobe Reader and iPhoto.

And I do use Firefox.

bjkeefe said...

Delighted. Thanks for acknowledging. And good on you for using a grownup's browser.