According to a post on Adobe's ASSET Blog, "Protected Mode" is based on Microsoft's Practical Windows Sandboxing Technique. The company has been working closely with members of the Microsoft Office security team, Nicolas Sylvain and the Chrome team at Google, as well as third-party consultancies and other external stakeholders.
This first release will sandbox all "write" calls, mitigating the risk of exploits that seek to install malware on users' computers. In future releases of Adobe Reader, the company plans to extend the sandbox to include read-only activities to protect against attackers seeking to read sensitive information from the user's computer.
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