What is PDF Virus?

As we all know, the main factor that cyber attackers use to spread their malicious viruses is a huge user base. Currently, there is no better medium in sharing documents than sharing them in the form of PDF in terms of having a huge user base. And that's why PDF devices have become a prime target for cyber attackers to spread malicious viruses.

Since Pdf also contains few dynamic elements, hackers can execute a code or program on your system. For example, it can have hidden or encrypted files or may include suspicious flash files. Also, since JavaScript is used here, it becomes even easier to modify all the custom behaviors. So due to this dynamic element, yes, even PDF can have a virus.

How Does PDF Virus Spread?

Now that we understood what PDF virus is and from where it comes, it's essential to know how they spread?

Similarly, like any regular PDF, even a malicious PDF file will find its way into your device without coming to notice of anyone. Most of the time, we download PDFs from either email attachments or through web browsers, and these files, if infected, can make us vulnerable to this virus.

How to Detect if a PDF has a Virus?

It is also crucial to know how you can detect if your PDF had a virus or not? It's technically not possible to stop using PDFs for sharing files, but knowing whether your PDF has a virus or not is very important for us to prevent the spread of this virus.

The most common way to scan your file through a free PDF virus scanner is readily available these days on the Internet. But it's essential to know that not every scanner will catch all existing types of viruses! So, whenever you open a PDF file, always run it through a scanner as it will indicate and remove the malicious code before it harms your system.

How to Protect a System from PDF Virus?

How to protect your system from this virus is also essential to know apart from just scanning? Here is a set of steps that might help −

  • The essential step is to adjust your settings of the device by disabling the following things in your PDF reader −

    • Disable JavaScript

    • Disable its ability to open any external applications or software without your permission.

    • Disable the application itself from a list of startup programs in Windows OS.

    • Disable macros for email attachments

  • It is essential to keep your software up to date as it will protect you from any loopholes in its security and ensure that all the latest bugs in the app are fixed, and there are no vulnerabilities from which the virus may enter.

  • Always run legitimate anti-malware software on your device to stay extra safe, for which it's essential always to have one installed in the system.

  • The most common way to protect your system from PDF virus is to stop allowing them to even enter your device in the first place, for which you need to be alert regarding where you are downloading your pdf from. Having a trustworthy source to download files is of utmost importance. Generally, hackers send them through mass mail promotion pretending the mails to look like those from any of your bank or shopping websites or something you last visited or searched about, so be aware of that.

So, being just a bit aware of the source of the download of your PDF files can save you a big way from this pdf virus.