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Best way to REALLY secure a PDF

Posted on 2013-05-27
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Last Modified: 2013-05-28
We need to send our customer a secured PDF's which he'll not be able to edit at all.
I came across this article which shows how to crack those so-called protected files.

Please advice on how to really secure those documents.

Thanks in advance
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Question by:IT_Group1
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4 Comments
 
LVL 83

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by:Dave Baldwin
Dave Baldwin earned 50 total points
ID: 39199409
The only way I know that is more secure is to create the PDF with images instead of text.  Even then, if you put black text on a white background I could probably change some things.

What is being done with this PDF that makes it necessary to be 'secure'?
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LVL 54

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by:McKnife
McKnife earned 150 total points
ID: 39199951
If I read REALLY, it seems to me you're hoping for some solution to REALLY cover ALL possible attacks. There ain't. Whatever you do to the document, it still has to be readable and that will enable any reader to somehow copy the screen contents and turn them back into an electronically readable AND fully modifiable form. In between there's not much effort.
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LVL 38

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Rich Rumble earned 300 total points
ID: 39200196
Well said McKnife, you can OCR a pdf from sceenshots, OCR software comes with every 3-in-one printer out there for free, you can also find many OCR software free as well. If you can open the PDF you can get it's contents out. But if you want tough encryption that takes forever to break, use a long password and a modern PDF maker.
http://www.elcomsoft.com/apdfpr.html
The AES256 is the hardest method available, and the slowest. The 40-bit RC4 is the weakest and is what you get when you save a word doc as a pdf in 2007-2013 when you add encryption... so BUY AdobePDF maker and get the best encryption.
You can even try to buy the more fancy FileOpen software, but it too has been defeated in the past, but it offers the overall best security features I've seen.
http://www.fileopen.com/products/pdf-security-control/
Still if it can be opened, it can be copied one way or another, screen shots being the easiest method.
-rich
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Author Closing Comment

by:IT_Group1
ID: 39200417
Thank you guys
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