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Category: Malware

Type: Exploit

Aliases: Pdf-payload, Exploit:pdf-name.gen, Exploit.PDF-Payload.Gen, Exploit.pdf-js.gen


Exploit:W32/PDF-Payload.Gen is a generic detection for Portable Document Format (PDF) files that attempt to exploit vulnerabilities in the popular Adobe Acrobat Reader program.

Generic detections are broad patterns of code or behavior that are used by security software to identify programs or files. If you suspect the detected file was incorrectly identified, go to: Removal: Resolve a False Positive.


Automatic action

Based on the settings of your F-Secure security product, it will either automatically delete, quarantine or rename the detected program or file, or ask you for a desired action.

Resolve a False Positive

Security programs will sometimes unintentionally identify a clean program or file as malicious if its code or behavior is similar to a known harmful program or file. This is known as a False Positive. In most cases, a False Positive is fixed in a subsequent database release. If you suspect the detected file is a False Positive, you can:

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Submit a sample

Submit a file or URL for further analysis.

Technical Details

This malware typically arrives as a PDF document sent as a email attachment, usually with a title related to current events or purporting to be some sort of form.

This type of malware may also be identified with the detection 'Exploit.PDF-Payload.Gen' or 'PDF-Payload'. The specific vulnerability targeted by the malicious PDF files varies depending on the specific variant.


If the document is run, successful exploitation results in additional malware executables being dropped/downloaded onto the system. A clean copy of the PDF may also be dropped and opened in Acrobat so as to give the illusion that everything is normal.