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I've heard of attacks using PDF files on Windows with Adobe Acrobat and Foxit Reader.

Is Linux vulnerable to these attacks when using the default PDF viewers in KDE or Gnome or even xpdf? What is a good PDF scanner to determine if a PDF file is evil?

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Linux generally uses poppler or xpdf to parse PDF files, which do not have the same vulnerabilities. Obviously, Acrobat Reader for Linux is likely to have at least some of the same vulnerabilities as its Windows and OS X counterparts.

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On the other hand, it's not unlikely that poppler and xpdf have vulnerabilities of their own! – Phoshi May 12 '11 at 10:30
...and indeed they did have vulnerabilities of their own! Poppler, btw, is a 'fork' of XPDF, which initiative was partially motivated by the fact that XPDF vulnerability fixes (at times) came forward rather slow.... – Kurt Pfeifle May 12 '11 at 16:37
Also, there have been discovered 'vulnerabilities' in the PDF spec itself, so that any viewer which implemented all the spec and all the recommendation bug-free would be 'vulernable'. – Kurt Pfeifle May 12 '11 at 16:38

I don`s see how a pdf reader can obtain super user privileges. Unless you run it with root. Furthermore I think foxit has some kind of protection against attacks of those kind.

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You do not need super user privileges in order to cause damage to the user's data. And you don't seem to have heard about 'privilege escalation', or have you? – Kurt Pfeifle May 12 '11 at 16:40

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