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09 April 2010, 11:39

Adobe introduces automatic update for Reader

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Adobe PDF Logo As announced in early January, next Tuesday's security update for Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat (9.3.2 and 8.2.2 for Windows) will activate the automatic update functionality. This will allow users to configure Reader to automatically download and install available updates without requiring confirmation (a silent update).

Adobe hopes that the new update function will mean fewer users running vulnerable versions of Reader. Several studies from a range of security services provider have demonstrated the importance of running an up-to-date version, particularly in the light of the finding that in the final quarter of 2009 more than 80 per cent of online attacks were directed against Adobe Reader browser plugins. Adobe has already successfully tested the new option with beta testers.

An update option has been available under Edit/Preferences/Updater since version 9.2, but although the option could be changed, until now the updater was nevertheless deactivated whatever the setting. It is not clear how Adobe intends to remotely activate this option. According to Adobe's Steve Gottwals, the updater will be activated on 13th April and will then automatically distribute versions 9.3.2 and 8.2.2. By default the updater will download updates automatically but still ask users whether they want to install them. The updater is also available in the Mac version, but without the auto-install option.

Adobe's announcement makes no mention of which vulnerabilities the new version will fix. The updates are, however, expected to fix critical bugs in the Windows, Mac and Unix versions.

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