Security experts at the Virus Bulletin 2010 conference have voted overwhelmingly to abolish Adobe's PDF standard and replace it with a safer format.
Paul Baccus, a senior threat researcher at Sophos, conducted a straw poll on the future of PDF during a conference session, and found that 97 per cent favour dumping the standard and working on a safer format with better software security.
Baccus then asked whether anyone from Adobe was in the audience. After a pause a voice at the back shouted: "Of course not, it's a security conference."
The poll was unofficial, but did highlight growing concerns in the security community about Adobe's software after a string of attacks against the code.
Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, told V3.co.uk that Adobe is taking steps to improve the situation, but is "increasingly seen as the new Microsoft".
"Microsoft has improved dramatically on its software security and now hackers are going after Flash and PDF because they are almost as widespread as Windows, " he said.
The annual Virus Bulletin conference, held in Vancouver this year, has attracted 600 security experts from the private and public sectors around the world.
The opening keynote was given by a Facebook staffer who talked of the increasing problems caused by online crime moving into social networking.
However, some delegates criticised the presentation as being too limited and lacking serious information sharing. No copies of the presentation were distributed.
Day two of the conference on 30 September will see a number of presentations on the Stuxnet worm which recently hit an Iranian nuclear facility.
Tonight, however, the security researchers will be living it up as only they know how, according to Cluley.
"We're having a welcome reception after the first day's sessions, and then it's time for the entertainments, which this year will include checkers and chess. We know how to party in Vancouver," he said.
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