back to article RIM warns over PDF peril

Research In Motion (RIM) has warned of a vulnerability in how BlackBerry servers handle malformed PDF files that potentially leaves the door open to hacking attacks. If corporate users of BlackBerry mobile devices are tricked into opening an email message with a booby-trapped PDF attachment, it might be possible to inject …


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Plain text anyone?

What's is the problem with using plain text? Yes, I know ascii art does not convey images very well, so there is a place for rich text/pdf documentation. However, the majority of PDFs I have viewed are text only.

The more functionality that is embedded in RTF/PDF documentation the greater the chance of an exploitable bug. Obvious I know, but some documenters need to have this bashed into their form over function mentality.

If the documentation contains plain text only then why fugg around with a buggy and exploitable platform such as PDF?

Looking good and actually being good are not the same thing.


PDF over plain text

We use PDF because not every machine on the company network has a full suite of MS office. Some machines have only outlook for email and snag a free copy of adobe reader to view pdf documents. PDFs also get used in situations where you want a semi uneditable document made and a majority of the time we just need the document to print out exactly one way. The majority of our PDF files are scans of documents in a master file and exported cad drawings which are usually to be printed by the recipients.


While recognizing the need for some form controlled documents

I have to agree with adnim, PDFs are overused as a means of transmitting information that can be relayed just as effectively in plain text. I manage the Help Desk where I work, and we keep getting some variation of the following question from users:

"Why doesn't my signature line look the same when I see it in the replies I get from my recipients?"


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