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Adobe to introduce a regular patching schedule

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Following criticism over its various flaws and vulnerabilities, Adobe has announced that it is to introduce a regular patch update.


Director of product security and privacy at Adobe, Brad Arkin, claimed that there had been discussion about the company's security policy for its technologies, and following vulnerabilities and exploits of its Acrobat and Adobe Reader products; it has decided to introduce a regular patching schedule.


Arkin claimed that in the past few months Adobe Reader and Acrobat engineers have been executing a major project focused on software security, where everything from the security team's communications during an incident to our security update process to the code itself has been carefully reviewed.


As part of an increased security effort, the company will look to harden the core of the product range and increase its response to incidents.


With regard to the regular patch updates, Arkin said: “Starting this summer with the initial output of our security code hardening effort, we plan to release security updates for all major supported versions and platforms of Adobe Reader and Acrobat on a quarterly basis.


“Based on feedback from our customers, who have processes and resources geared toward Microsoft's ‘Patch Tuesday' security updates, we will make Adobe's quarterly patches available on the same days.”


Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, said: “This is a timely move by Adobe, whose Reader and Acrobat products have been in the firing line in recent months with hackers targeting vulnerabilities in their code with the aim of infecting innocent users' computers. Indeed, lately it's seemed that we've never been far away from another headline declaring that a new critical security hole abusing the PDF file format has been found.


“By linking their patch release schedule in with Microsoft, Adobe will probably encourage more people to update their systems quickly. After all, if you're in charge of a corporate network it's going to be easier to remember that it's this week that all the patches are going to have to be rolled out, rather than find yourself scratching your head wondering when the next bumper pack of patches will rear its head.”


However Cluley did point out that there was no reference made to the Flash Player, which has been abused by hackers and is widely used by millions of computers around the world. “Will patches for that be released on the same calendar schedule?” asked Cluley.


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