I have been reporting to you in October 5th’s Scam of the day and October 9th’s Scam of the day about the breach at Adobe, the maker of products such as Adobe Acrobat PDF reader, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe ColdFusion that is affecting a minimum of 2.9 million Adobe customers who had personal information including their names and credit card numbers stolen by hackers. There is a good reason for my focus on this breach, which is that it may end up affecting many millions more whose information was not stolen. Adobe was targeted both because it is very popular and because it is very vulnerable. The code for many of its programs are old and not state of the art. It is easier for hackers and identity thieves to find and exploit vulnerabilities in these programs. The Adobe ColdFusion program is used by many companies and governmental agencies in the construction of websites. Even the Department of Defense uses it. It is entirely possible in stealing the code, that hackers would be able to steal data bases from agencies and companies that use these programs. This is not a far fetched idea. Earlier this year the National White Collar Crime Center which uses Adobe ColdFusion had its data stolen in this manner. Consequently anyone using Adobe products is potentially at risk because if you use their software or go to a tainted website, you may end up downloading unwittingly keystroke logging malware that can steal all of your personal information from your computer. Even if you have up to date anti-malware software, you may still be vulnerable because the makers of anti-malware software are always at least a month behind in protecting against the latest viruses and malware.
Just as the Department of Homeland Security advised people not to use Java software if they could avoid it because of similar hacking and malware problems so should you consider using other software for reading PDFs or creating websites. In my Scam of the day of October 9th I told you about www.pdfreaders.org where you can find a list and links to other PDF reading software. If you do decide to continue to use Adobe software, you should immediately install their latest patches which have just been released. Here is the link to the patch for Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat http://www.adobe.com/support/security/bulletins/apsb13-25.html and here is the link to RoboHelp 10 for Windows http://www.adobe.com/support/security/bulletins/apsb13-24.html I will continue to follow this important story for new developments. Make sure you read Scamicide each day so you don’t miss anything.