[RndTbl] Fwd: Can a pdf file itself be maleware Fwd: FW: remittance Message Payment Status Notification

Brian Lowe brian2 at groupbcl.ca
Wed Jan 19 18:45:55 CST 2022

On Tuesday, January 18, 2022 9:15:20 P.M. CST Adam Thompson wrote:
> PDF files can be malicious.
> While this generally only happens with unpatched software, there's a LOT of
> PDF-rendering software out there now, including, it seems, almost every
> damn app on my computer or my phone.  Guaranteed at least one of them is
> vulnerable to at least one exploit. Also, there have been several PDF
> zero-day flaws in the past: there could be more to come.

In addition to rendering flaws, PDFs can have embedded JavaScript. This is from the abstract 
of a paper published by the IEEE in 2014:

> An emerging threat vector, embedded malware inside popular document formats, has 
become rampant since 2008. Owed to its wide-spread use and JavaScript support, PDF has 
been the primary vehicle for delivering embedded exploits. Unfortunately, existing defenses 
are limited in effectiveness, vulnerable to evasion, or computationally expensive to be 
employed as an on-line protection system. In this paper, we propose a context-aware 
approach for detection and confinement of malicious JavaScript in PDF. 


Paper (ironically, a PDF) at https://www.eecis.udel.edu/~dpliu/papers/dsn14.pdf.

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