I have some PDF files which were digitally signed and now the harddisk of that system got physically damaged where digital IDs or signatures were saved. Hence now when I attempt to open the files after copyning them on new harddisk it returns the error as in the snapshot added below. Please go through it.
Isn't there any way to open this file(s) by recovering the Digital ID which is lost permamently?
I am of the strong opinion that the solution lies with only with th Acrobat team or experts as the lender of the last resort.
I am struggling for it since two years but in vain. I can even attach and send you the file please contact me at email@example.com
The message you are seeing is because the PDF was "encrypted" using a digital certificate, although the document may have contained a digital signature it is not related to this message. A digitally signed PDF will open in Reader\Acrobat regardless of whether the digital certificate used to sign the docuemnt is stored on the computer or not.
When a PDF is encrypted using a digital certificate, it is encrypted for a specific user or multiple users with their respective "public key" portions of their digital certifiate. For the intended user to open the encrypted PDF, the system used to open the PDF must have access to the corresponding "private key" of the digital certificate. The "private key" is stored in a file with a .P12 or .PFX extension (other ways to store theses credentials include on a smart card or a Hardware Security Module),
The only way to open this document is to have access to the "private key", if you don't have a back-up of this, or access to another computer where the credential is installed then you will not be able to open this document.
If you happen to know the author (or the person who encrypted the PDF) you could contact them for an unencrypted copy of the PDF, or ask them to remove the encryption if possible.
Just one note on the "backup" of the private key. This may be on a backup of your system. It may also be that the certificate authority that sent you the original credential could give you the key again.
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