PDF Trojans Can Hurt You

Back in September of 2011, news of a Trojan attack spread like a wildfire across the blogs and forums.  This Trojan was unique because of several reasons.

A big reason was that the target was Apple’s operating system.  Apple computers have had a reputation of being invincible to viruses and Trojans.  Computers running any Microsoft OS were the favorites to attack.

Very few malicious hackers spent time to mess with the Apple computers.  So in 2011, the Apple invincibility was disproved again.

The second most interesting thing is that a PDF file was used to install the Trojan.  That’s right, a PDF file!  It was displayed on your screen as a Chinese PDF.  Just about everyone closed the PDF and deleted it.

They deleted it too late, as a web server was installed on the Apple computer.  Only a couple of anti-virus programs recognized it.

A third surprise was really unusual.  The web server install did not provide any access to backdoor programs.  It was harmless.

Since then, antivirus vendors have improved and so have the nefarious people who have been writing these Trojans.  An increasing amount of PDF Trojans and viruses have been found since attacking both Apple and Microsoft operating systems.

We suggest that you refrain from opening any PDF files you receive unless you know who sent it and have verified they just sent you that particular PDF file.  You should also have a good virus and malware protection suite installed on your computer.  Also, make sure it gets updated regularly as new Trojans and viruses are released every day.

Trojan Horse picture via Flickr by ccarlstead

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