3 Replies Latest reply on Jul 14, 2017 2:26 PM by try67

    Acrobat DC Pro Password Security Is *NOT* Secure

    crileysli Level 1

      Recently, I wanted to secure a report prior to sending to one of our clients.  So, I went through the steps in my Acrobat DC Pro to secure the report PDF file as follows:

      Protect > More Options > Security Properties

      Security Method > Password Security

      Require password to open = Unchecked

      Restrict printing and editing = Checked

      Printing allowed = Low Resolution (it IS a report, so the client has to be able to print it)

      Changes allowed = None

      Enable copying of text, images and other content = Unchecked

      Enable text access for the visually impaired = Checked

      Used a password rated BEST

      Compatibility Acrobat 7.0 and later selected

      Encrypt all documents radio button selected


      Then I emailed the document to my client, whom I know well.  Here is what she was able to do with her Acrobat DC Pro:

      Opened the supposedly secure PDF report that I just sent her.

      Hit File > Print

      Chose Adobe PDF as her printer.

      Gave the file a new name "Report-A" and saved it onto her Desktop.

      Open the newly printed "Report-A" PDF file in Acrobat DC Pro.

      Clicked on Edit and proceeded to edit text, delete text, delete images, insert images, etc. etc. - EVERYTHING that was supposed to be RESTRICTED!


      In less than 30 seconds, my supposedly secure report that restricted editing has been opened and edited without putting in the password, completely bypassing the security that I added to my original!


      The steps above that I followed to secure the document *used* to actually secure it so that if my PDF was reprinted using the Adobe PDF distiller, it was "printed" as embedded image bitmaps - in other words *not editable*.  Now, all of a sudden - reprinting a secured document using distiller is producing a FULLY EDITABLE document!


      What's going on Adobe?!?