Are .docx or .pdf files potentially dangerous?
Google Chrome just came out with an update (new version) and now it tells me that PDF downloads may harm my computer.
What can the PDF file do that is dangerous?
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aside from acrobat reader being one of the most favored attack vectors, it can have embedded js, embedded executables, embedded video, has had many codec problems that allowed buffer overflows, currently opts out of security features offered by host OSes(DEP and/or ASLR), and lets individuals hit flash without going through a browser(which means you think you're downloading a pdf and you get flash active content, a bad practice)
They've always been potentially harmful, and in the past few months they've been very harmful. Part of the new notification may be that Google chrome now has ways of protecting you by showing the PDF inline with chrome, which has some isolation protection (called sandboxing). Maybe now that they can do something about it, they'll tell you.
See Symmantec's The Rise of PDF Malware, by Karthik Selvaraj and Nino Fred Gutierrez.
Surprise, it's a PDF file!
The Chrome change went in with Revision 63158; if you look at the diff, you'll see quite a few other file types, which you might not use as often as PDFs, were also added.