Something as simple as opening a PDF file can infect your computer, and potentially allow malicious hackers to gain access to your corporate network.
Cybercriminals create boobytrapped PDF files, exploiting vulnerabilities in PDF reading software such as Adobe Reader, and either spam them out to unsuspecting victims or plant them on websites where they lie in wait for visitors.
Just the simple act of opening the PDF file can exploit a vulnerability to automatically download malicious code from the internet, and display a decoy PDF file to trick you into believing that nothing wrong has happened.
Check out the following video by our own Chet Wisniewski, showing how a PDF can help hackers pwn your PC:
(Enjoy this video? Check out more on the SophosLabs YouTube channel.)
Hopefully videos like this will help remind people of the importance of keeping applications like Adobe Reader updated with the latest security patches, and not just their operating system.
If you want to learn more you can subscribe to our YouTube channel for similar videos. But even better than that, we hold regular “Anatomy of Attack” events where we demonstrate malware threats and you can meet Sophos experts face-to-face.
If there’s not an “Anatomy of Attack” event scheduled in your area soon, drop us a note and we’ll let you know if and when one is coming to your neck of the woods.