In a recent article on PCWorld, PCWorld columnist Erik Larkin makes some "interesting" reports and recommendations...


In typical "throw the baby out with the bath water" fashion, Mr. Larkin recommends "ditching" Adobe Reader in favor of "other" PDF reader/viewers in an effort to stem the tide of recent attacks focused on/using corrupted/hacked PDF files and exploiting flaws in Adobe Reader or some of its plug-ins.

While not really going into detail, and quoting some off-the-cuff statistics from F-Secure - Mr. Larkins sole recommendation of "ditching" Adobe Reader really angers me as a Network Security Administrator. This approach, much like (as he states) when IE6 was the target of so many attacks/exploits, only provides the "hackers" with a "win". These "hackers" do not choose a program like IE or Reader arbitrarily - they choose it to damage the reputation of the company that produces it. Microsoft and Adobe jump through multiple hoops on a regular basis - in an effort to stem the tide of security risks that may be opened in their various applications - can we say that smaller, less well-known companies offer better protection because their product is not known as well?

I would prefer to trust rapid response to security issues, once identified, to companies that have both the technological and financial background to repair the issue - rather than some smaller and perhaps less financially sound company that is riding on the shirt-tails of a larger company's existing product lines.

Amazingly, Mr. Larkin does not (at least in this article) recommend doing away with Word, or Excel, or Powerpoint - in favor of something like OpenOffice or any of the other "Office-like" products on the market. I won't speculate on his reasoning for not throwing those "babies" out - but this comes off as nothing more uninformed, biased, knee-jerk reaction.

The only way to 100% guarantee that your computer will be safe, secure, and uninfected by any trojan/virii/rootkit/etc is... UNPLUG IT. Perhaps that will be PCWorld's next solution?