How to control a BlackBerry Enterprise Server with just a PDF

Filed Under: BlackBerry, Malware, Mobile

Sorry, I'm not actually going to tell you how to do that.

But Research In Motion (RIM), the company who make the BlackBerry smartphones beloved by corporate workers worldwide, has warned of a vulnerability in the way its devices handles PDF files which could allow hackers to remotely execute code.

According to a security advisory issued by the firm, hackers could send email message with an attached PDF file that, when opened by a BlackBerry mobile user, could cause code to be launched on the computer that hosts the BlackBerry Attachment Service. Of course, this isn't the first time that this kind of problem with RIM's BlackBerry has bubbled up.

RIM is advising that companies disable PDF file processing on the BlackBerry server until the patches are rolled out.

As we've reported umpteen times before, hackers are increasingly exploiting the PDF file format to deliver malicious code to unsuspecting computer users.

As PDFs are so widely used and shared in business, most people wouldn't think twice of clicking on them, making it imperative that corporations keep their security patches and anti-malware defences up-to-date.

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About the author

Graham Cluley runs his own award-winning computer security blog at, and is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and gives computer security presentations. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley