Adobe this week announced that it has introduced a protected mode in Adobe Acrobat DC for Windows.
The feature is available only in preview at the moment, and only for Windows users running Adobe Acrobat DC 20.009.20063.381938 or higher on their machines.
Protected Mode, which was introduced in Acrobat Reader ten years ago, is designed to help keep users safe from exploits that may have been embedded in malicious PDFs.
The PDF file format is widely used in enterprise environments, and malicious actors have long abused it to deliver malware to unsuspecting victims.
The Protected Mode in Acrobat DC is aimed at ensuring addition layers of security are available for users, thus improving the protection of desktop environments from potentially malicious code.
For that, it confines the execution of documents and application code in a sandbox, thus isolating potentially malicious code when PDFs are opened.
Acrobat DC, Adobe says, has millions of users worldwide, including in enterprise environments, but hasn’t received support for Protected Mode yet due to fears of compatibility issues.
“Protected Mode applications run in a restricted environment and hence may have compatibility issues with the existing configurations and policies in customer environments,” Chris Parkerson, senior campaign manager of Adobe’s Corporate Security Team, says.
Protected Mode Preview is now rolling out to all customers and Adobe is encouraging them to test the new feature and report any encountered issues so that they can be addressed.
To enable Protected Mode, users need to launch Adobe Acrobat DC for Windows, head to Edit > Preferences > Security (Enhanced) and select Enable Protected Mode at startup (Preview).
The same is possible through setting the following registry key:
HKCUSOFTWAREAdobeAdobe AcrobatDCPrivilegedbProtectedMode(REG_DWORD) = 1
and re-launching Acrobat.
“We hope that you try out Adobe Acrobat DC Protected Mode in your environment and give us your feedback,” Parkerson concludes.
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