Threat Description



Aliases: Pdf-payload, Exploit:​pdf-name.gen, Exploit.PDF-Payload.Gen, Exploit.pdf-js.gen
Category: Malware
Type: Exploit
Platform: W32


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.


Allow F-Secure Anti-Virus to disinfect the relevant files.

For more general information on disinfection, please see Removal Instructions.

Possible False Positives

In the event that the detection occurs on a PDF file you are certain is from a trusted source, this may potentially be a False Positive. Please report such occurences to the F-Secure Labs via:

Technical Details

This malware typically arrives as a PDF document sent as a e-mail 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.


Users should ensure all Adobe software is updated with the latest security patches. For the latest updates, please refer to the software vendor.

About Generic Detections

Unlike signature or single-file detections, a Generic Detection does not identify a unique or individual malicious program. Instead, a Generic Detection looks for broadly applicable code or behavior characteristics that indicate a file as potentially malicious, so that a single Generic Detection can efficiently identify dozens, or even hundreds of malware.

For more information about Generic Detections, see the Generic Detection description.


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