Depending on how lucky you are, you might receive little to no spam during the day or you might receive dozens of spam mails every few hours. For the latter, it can be very frustrating – especially if you are relying on email for work where you must pay attention to every mail that comes in. I have noticed myself over the past few months the increased number of mails that come in with PDF attachments – usually completely bogus or containing ad garbage.
Is there a security risk with these PDFs? Many are fearful of any Office document coming their way via email, with dozens of flaws found year to year in Word documents, Excel documents, PowerPoint presentations and others. According to Adobe, however, PDFs are safe. They claim that despite the increase in spam messages coming laden with PDFs, users are safe and that there is no evidence of PDFs proposing a security risk. In fact, they said this:
Erick Lee, a security engineer at Adobe, wrote in an e-mail on Wednesday that "PDF is no more able to embed malware on an unsuspecting user's system than any other typical e-mail attachment."
That, however, isn't reassuring. The typical email attachment, unless it comes from a trusted source, is often eyed with suspicion. After all, flaws in their Reader software aren't unheard of, with several flaws being discovered in it over the years. PDFs over email may have not been an issue to date, but I won't be surprised if they do become a security issue in the future.