9 Replies Latest reply on Jul 10, 2011 12:36 PM by JohnnyBob2

    Security updates in Reader 6-7-8-9-10 series

    JohnnyBob2

      Using this link for reference:
      ftp://ftp.adobe.com/pub/adobe/reader/win/

       

      It looks like the 6-7 series are no longer being updated. The last 7 series update was an 7.1.4 incremental update on 10/13/2009. Correct?

       

      The 8-9-10 series were all updated on 6/14/2011 to 8.3, 9.4.5, and 10.1. I need to be clear about this... All of the advertising says to update to 10.1 in order to get the latest security updates. However my impression is that 8.3 and 9.4.5 contain the same security fixes, and are equally as secure as 10.1. Correct?

       

      Re trailing dot zero (.0) in version numbers:

      In different places I see the last 8 series update variously referred to as version numbers 8.3 and 8.3.0. Are those the same? I also see version numbers 10.1 and 10.1.0. Are those the same thing?

        • 1. Re: Security updates in Reader 6-7-8-9-10 series
          pwillener Level 8

          You are correct: only Adobe Reader 8.x, 9.x, and 10.x are still supported.

           

          The minor version number '0' at the end is just an inconsistency - 8.3 and 8.3.0 are the same, as is 10.1 and 10.1.0.

          • 2. Re: Security updates in Reader 6-7-8-9-10 series
            JohnnyBob2 Level 1

            Thanks. That answers some of my questions, but I would still like to get a literal reply to my middle paragraph:

             

            The 8-9-10 series were all updated on 6/14/2011 to 8.3, 9.4.5, and 10.1.  I need to be clear about this... All of the advertising says to update  to 10.1 in order to get the latest security updates. However my  impression is that 8.3 and 9.4.5 contain the same security fixes, and  are equally as secure as 10.1. Correct?

            • 3. Re: Security updates in Reader 6-7-8-9-10 series
              pwillener Level 8

              I don't know where you see this.  The security updates are provided for all 8, 9, and 10 Readers.

               

              However, Reader X (10.x) is a more secure version by design; this is probably meant by the suggestion to upgrade.

               

              However, my personal experience is that Reader X does not perform well on older systems.  I still have several systems that I keep with Reader 8 and 9.  Only the newest systems I equip with Reader X.

              • 4. Re: Security updates in Reader 6-7-8-9-10 series
                JohnnyBob2 Level 1

                I haven't seen this explicitly stated anywhere, so only had an impression based on some assumptions. I like to know such things for absolutely sure (100% certainty) and not be left guessing. Given your apparent expertise in this area, your response clarifies sufficiently for me. Thanks!

                • 5. Re: Security updates in Reader 6-7-8-9-10 series
                  pwillener Level 8

                  You're welcome.  See also this document for some more information on security regarding Reader X: http://www.adobe.com/products/reader/faq.html

                  • 6. Re: Security updates in Reader 6-7-8-9-10 series
                    George_Johnson MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                    Reader 10 is inherently more secure than any previous versions as long as Protected Mode is enabled, which is the default setting. One problem is it can be disabled, which some people do when it restricts operations that folks don't want restricted. If you want to read up on the details of protected mode, see: http://blogs.adobe.com/asset/2010/10/inside-adobe-reader-protected-mode-part-1-design.html

                    1 person found this helpful
                    • 7. Re: Security updates in Reader 6-7-8-9-10 series
                      JohnnyBob2 Level 1

                      What exactly does "inherently more secure" mean?

                      • 8. Re: Security updates in Reader 6-7-8-9-10 series
                        MichaelKazlow MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                        Read this knowledgebase article: http://kb2.adobe.com/cps/860/cpsid_86063.html .

                        1 person found this helpful
                        • 9. Re: Security updates in Reader 6-7-8-9-10 series
                          JohnnyBob2 Level 1

                          Thanks for the reference. I read it...

                           

                          There is no mention of the 6-7-8-9 Reader series therein. It says that a "protected mode" was instituted in the 10 series, which I intuit to mean (in absence of explicit language) was not available in the prior versions series, and that this is the basis for the above "inherently more secure" description of the Reader 10 series. If I got that correct...

                           

                          It's a rather complicated tech article with a lot of exceptions, especially for the Windows XP op system which I'm running. So I'm not sure protected mode would run on my 8 year old XP computer, in any case. I can't remember the exact details from when I had Reader 10.1 installed.

                           

                          I don't like the 9-10 series GUI so uninstalled Adobe Reader and experimented with some .pdf reader substitutes such as Foxit and PDF-XChange reader for awhile. I didn't like their GUI's and/or features either, so reverted to an older Adobe Reader version in the 7 series, ignoring security considerations. Then after discovering the 8-9-10 series were all updated with security patches on 6/14/2011, I installed 8.3 which has a marginally acceptable GUI. I really like the Reader 6-7 series GUI best, so compromised a little. That's where I stand, with the Adobe Reader 8.3 version installed, and I'm not willing to go higher because I dislike the GUI changes in the 9-10 series.

                           

                          I note in passing that my free avast antivirus software includes an autosandbox feature which I have enabled, and wonder if that might be a substitute for the protected mode of the Reader 10 series(?). I also wonder if turning off javascript in the Reader, and disabling the opening of .pdf files inside browsers, might have a similar security effect as the new protected mode(?). However I'm not going to pursue it further. I really have very little use for a .pdf file reader or manipulator so my interest is exceeded already. Mostly I just need to be able to read the .pdf user manuals provided with various hardware/software, and financial statements provided by banks, credit cards, utility companies, etc. Those are generally very safe sources of .pdf files. I don't need all of the extra features included in current Adobe Reader versions, nor the fancy new GUI with invisible floating hover/unhover disappearing/reappearing toolbars. Mostly I just need something simple and stable. The recent use of gray scales rather than colors is also less legible on my CRT monitor, and was apparently designed entirely on/for LCD monitors.

                           

                          Sorry to ramble on, but that explains how it stands at this end, and why I came here in the first place. Thanks for your responses and help.