Mozilla included a built-in PDF reader as a default feature in Firefox 19. How does it work, and is it safer than...
other PDF readers like Adobe Reader or Foxit?
Ask the Expert!
SearchSecurity.com expert Michael Cobb is standing by to answer your questions about enterprise application security and platform security. Submit your question via email. (All questions are anonymous.)
Mozilla introduced a built-in PDF reader, in part, to reduce the need for plugins with proprietary source code that, according to Mozilla, "could potentially expose users to security vulnerabilities." Another initiative to tackle plugin security issues is its Click-to-Play feature. By default Click-to-Play restricts all browser plugins, except the latest version of Flash, from loading until a user gives it permission.
Mozilla's reader is certainly faster than a plugin reader, as the user doesn't have to download the content to read it in Foxit or Adobe Reader, or fire up a plugin. It also means less reliance on Adobe for security updates, which is a good thing! However, be forewarned that some PDFs don't display properly or at all. You may want to look at the integrated document reader in Windows 8, Modern Reader, as another alternative. Users running Linux have even more choices when it comes to free PDF viewers, some of which can handle other document formats.
Dig Deeper on Securing Productivity Applications
Related Q&A from Michael Cobb
Open source NoSQL MongoDB database faced 30,000 insecure instances. Expert Michael Cobb explains the misconfiguration that led to this, and how to ...continue reading
A new Veracode report offers details on common mobile application security risks. Expert Michael Cobb explains these flaws, and what developers can ...continue reading
Juniper firewall products were found to have two backdoor vulnerabilities. Expert Michael Cobb explains how a cryptographic algorithm and hardcoded ...continue reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.