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I have suspicions that a file is using a silent .pdf exploit. How can I confirm them without opening the file?

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To examine a malicious PDF you can use:

PDF Stream Dumper

After installing PDF Stream Dumper, load the suspicious PDF file and start looking around. You can see different colors on the right side, where the red color shows headers with JavaScript tags.

The tool includes a number of signatures of known PDF exploits. To scan the file, select Exploits Scan from the menu by pressing.

peepdf

peepdf is a Python tool to explore PDF files in order to find out if the file can be harmful or not. The aim of this tool is to provide all the necessary components that a security researcher could need in a PDF analysis without using 3 or 4 tools to make all the tasks. With peepdf it's possible to see all the objects in the document showing the suspicious elements, supports all the most used filters and encodings, it can parse different versions of a file, object streams and encrypted files. With the installation of PyV8 and Pylibemu it provides Javascript and shellcode analysis wrappers too. Apart of this it's able to create new PDF files and to modify/obfuscate existent ones.

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    In addition to this, uploading the PDF to sites like malwr and VirusTotal might give some useful results. – Polynomial May 6 '16 at 21:23

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