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Password Protection bypassed by Mac Preview

Posted on 2008-10-03
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Last Modified: 2013-11-12
We've created a password protected PDF and it works well, however, we recently learned that Mac Preview is able to open the PDF and ignore the password protection.

I don't have a MAC and I've searched high and low for this on Google to no avail... Need expert help.

Thanks!
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Question by:pmagony
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6 Comments
 
LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:Karl Heinz Kremer
ID: 22639239
This was a problem back in 2002 (http://www.planetpdf.com/mainpage.asp?webpageid=1976), but has since been fixed. Now you can even apply security settings in Preview. When you open a protected PDF document in Preview, you get a password dialog.
password-dialog.png
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LVL 9

Author Comment

by:pmagony
ID: 22640653
I read that article too, but the problem here is that we are in 2008 and this is a brand new MAC.  The pdf is created on a windows machine using Adobe Acrobat Professional, then distributed accordingly.  

Preview simply ignores the security implementations.  
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Accepted Solution

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pmagony earned 0 total points
ID: 22641254
As it turns out... Adobe warns all users that not all 3rd party software comply with best practices...

"All Adobe products enforce the restrictions set by the Permissions Password.  However, not all third-party products fully support and respect these settings.  Recipients using such third-party products might be able to bypass some of the restrictions you have set."

That's a really ugly stain on Mac's inability to upkeep best practices.
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Use Case: Protecting a Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure

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LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:Karl Heinz Kremer
ID: 22643217
What OS version is installed on that Mac?
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LVL 9

Author Comment

by:pmagony
ID: 22644325
My guess is "whatever Mac ships with today", since its a brand new laptop he is using.  Perhaps Leopard, but I'm not 100% sure... this is my Client's, client.

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LVL 44

Expert Comment

by:Karl Heinz Kremer
ID: 22644340
Which version of Acrobat was used to create the protected file? I assume you verified on a Windows machine that the protection in the file is actually working.
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