I've seen that PDF's can contain malicious Javascript that operates in the background and can do bad things. This is primarily a problem for Adobe Acrobat. However, is this problem also for Evince? I downloaded a PDF from filepi.com, and I'm not sure if it is malicious or not. It's an eBook, and I would really love to keep it, but if it is malicious, I obviously shouldn't.


Attacks on non-executable files rarely exploit the api. It is much more common to attack a weakness in the viewer. It would be unlikely although not impossible for such a error to exists in both Adobe and Evince. To be safe you could setup a virtual environment (I recommend the free Virtualbox)


Is Evince a secure way to view malicious PDF?

Without further restrictions this answer has to be as boring as general: No

But you already made some restrictions, which I would like to turn into an assumption and the question which can be inferred from this:


The most likely attack vector when it comes to viewing a .pdf file is to exploit the capabilities of embedding and executing Javascript from within .pdf files.


Does Evince reduce the risk of being compromised by viewing a .pdf under this assumption?

Yes, because Evince (until now) does not support Javascript in the first place. See: Does Evince support javascript in pdf files?

How good/accurate is your assumption?

This is the upcoming question and more difficult to answer. I would even say it is out of scope of your question. However, here is a list of resources I stumbled across by now:

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