PDF filename selection in Explorer activates AcroRd32Info.exe

Discussion in 'Computer Security' started by John Corliss, Mar 18, 2006.

  1. John Corliss

    John Corliss Guest

    My system is using Windows XP Home with SP2. I also have Acrobat Reader
    version 7.0.5 installed. I recently took note of the fact that when I
    open Windows Explorer and then select (left click once on) a file name
    ending in ".pdf", Windows Task Manager indicates that an executable
    named "AcroRd32Info.exe" initiates and then runs for 30 seconds.

    My understanding from doing a Google is that this little program is
    supposed to make Acrobat Reader able to open the .pdf file faster.

    Great.

    Now how hard would it be for a malware author to create something that
    could exploit this capability? Apparently this has been a subject of
    discussion since at least July 2005:

    http://lists.grok.org.uk/pipermail/full-disclosure/2005-July.txt

    (search for "AcroRd32Info.exe" on the page)

    My question is, how smart was Adobe to create such a thing? Better yet,
    since if they can write software that does this kind of thing, *anybody*
    can, how smart was it for Microsoft to make such a thing possible in
    their OS?

    Unless I'm missing something, simply clicking on a file name ONCE could
    theoretically or even factually start the downloading, installation
    and-or running of *any* kind of malware.

    I would like to know, if possible, how to deactivate this kind of thing.
    Is it a service running in the background that allows left clicking once
    on a file name to activate a program or is it something that's built
    into the kernel or what?

    Any serious discussion about this subject will be greatly appreciated.

    TIA

    --
    Regards from John Corliss
     
    John Corliss, Mar 18, 2006
    #1
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  2. John Corliss

    xrayman Guest

    xrayman, Mar 18, 2006
    #2
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  3. John Corliss

    John Corliss Guest

    xrayman wrote:
    > John,
    >
    > I would blow Acrobat off completely. Foxit PDF Reader is lightning fast
    > and is far superior to Adobe Acrobat reader.
    > http://www.foxitsoftware.com/pdf/rd_intro.php
    >
    > Good luck!


    I've heard people talking about that program in alt.comp.freeware. Guess
    it's time to give it a try. Thanks!

    --
    Regards from John Corliss
     
    John Corliss, Mar 18, 2006
    #3
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