List of Malicious PDF Files You Should Not Open

Do you know that a simple task such as opening PDF files can infect your computer with malware? This is a very common method used by hackers to install malicious software on your system and gain access to it.

Adobe Reader comes with support for javscript embedded in PDF file. Hackers can simply add malicious javascript code to the PDF file to exploit this vulnerability. When you open the PDF file, the malicious javascript get executed and install malware on your computer, all without you knowing it.

Many people don’t pay enough attention to the fact that PDF files can contain viruses and open them without scanning them. Recently, Microsoft Malware Protection Center released a list of commonly infected PDF files that have been detected over the past few months.

Here is the list of files that has been released:

  1. pdf_new[1].pdf
  2. auhtjseubpazbo5[1].pdf
  3. avjudtcobzimxnj2[1].pdf
  4. pricelist[1].pdf
  5. couple_saying_lucky[1].pdf
  6. 5661f[1].pdf 7927
  7. 9fbe0[1].pdf 7065
  8. pdf_old[1].pdf

The question that remains here is how can you protect yourself from getting infected through this method? The answer to this question is pretty simple. As most of the PDF exploits the vulnerabilities using JavaScript, one way to protect your system would be to disable JavaScript on your PDF reader.

Open Adobe Reader and go to “Edit -> Preferences” or simply press “CTRL + K”.

disable-javascript-preferences

From the sidebar, select JavaScript and uncheck “Enable Acrobat JavaScript”.

disable-javascript-adobe

First you need to ensure that you never open an email or download anything that is sent to you by an unknown person/source. It is recommended that you always check the name of the file in the email before opening it on your computer or web browser. If you use Gmail, it scans every attachment that is delivered to your Inbox and blocks the infected file if it’s already in your Inbox. Although opening an email is safe, it is still recommended that you avoid opening emails that have attachments or links from unknown senders.

Second, ensure that you update your Windows and your antivirus program. It is very important to perform a regular system scan to check if your computer is infected or not. If you are not sure of the PDF files that you have downloaded, you can scan them with Virustotal to make sure they are virus-free .

As hackers are finding new ways to attack you, you should take all the precautionary steps to make sure your system does not get infected. On the other hand, the antivirus companies are also on the verge of releasing new virus definitions every day. So, it is highly recommended that you install good antivirus software such as Kaspersky or BitDefender, and set them to update definitions automatically. You can also try Microsoft Security Essentials which is available free of charge and can provide decent security. You can also take a look at some tips to protect yourself from viruses and malware.

4 comments

  1. Sigh. Where to start.

    “Many people don’t pay enough attention to the fact that PDF files can contain viruses and open them without scanning them”

    Remove ‘PDF’ from that sentence and it’ll be more correct.

    “First you need to ensure that you never open an email or download anything that is sent to you by an unknown person/source”

    This is the most *idiotic* statement that can be made…because it implies that it’s perfectly safe to open an e-mail or download something that’s sent by a *known* person/source. The *vast* majority of virii are spread around by people opening infected e-mails that are sent to them by *known* people. An infected computer uses the owner’s e-mail address to mail everyone in the owner’s contact list…thus, all those people are opening an e-mail from a *known* person and end up infecting their own computers. The *only* safe procedure is to configure your e-mail client to *not* open attachments automatically when an e-mail is opened (the default setting for every e-mail client on the planet *except* Microsoft’s!) and then save any attachment in an e-mail to the computer and scan it *before* opening it.

    “It is recommended that you always check the name of the file in the email before opening it on your computer or web browser”

    More bad advice. Many virii come disguised as pictures, screen savers or, as mentioned in this article, PDFs. Simply *checking* the name of the file isn’t enough…it *must* be scanned by a virus scanner before opening it.

    “On the other hand, the antivirus companies are also on the verge of releasing new virus definitions every day”

    They aren’t “on the verge” of doing that, most of them have *been* doing it for years. An antivirus scanner that doesn’t get new definition files daily isn’t worth having. BTW, Kaspersky isn’t a very good recommendation. Norton wouldn’t be either…it causes far more problems than it solves.

    “You can also try Microsoft Security Essentials”

    You’re actually suggesting that people trust the safety/security of their computers to the company that wrote the operating system that contains all the vulnerabilities that virii take advantage of? Wow!

    BTW, anybody stupid enough to open files named like 2, 3, 5 and 6 without scanning them for virii deserve what they get!

  2. Hey Rick, I agree with you on every point. Hopefully, someone else will stumble upon your rant and make use of it as I did.

  3. Good advice, Rick, but please – there is no attested nominative plural in Latin to the rather rare word «virus» (meaning poison), but if there were, you can rest assured that it would not be «virii» – wrong declension ! In English the best one can do is probably the customary «viruses»…

    Henri

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