8 Replies Latest reply on Jul 14, 2009 11:53 PM by TimMcqueen

    PDF Security: A Question

      I am searching for a 3rd party company that provides pdf password protection - pdf encryption. I am aware: nothing is hacker-proof. I just want a deterrent. I don't want a high end DRM company. I'm hoping to find a 3rd part product that fulfills the following criteria. Anyone have any suggestions? Thank you in advance.

      A. GENERAL IDEA: password protection that ties pdf file to the individual computer and prevents them from illegal sharing. (I don't care if they modify or print)

      B. User inputs password only once (unlike Adobe's), the first time he opens pdf file.

      C. User cannot duplicate file and place on another computer and/or place on a CD or other removable medium (and still have it function).

      D. Work across PC and MAC platforms

      E. Different password generated for each document

      F. Password protection works within the PAYLOADZ/PAYPAL environment (PAYLOADZ is a company that downloads a copy of the pdf file (original sits on a server), to user, as soon as Pay Pal confirms payment.)
        • 1. Re: PDF Security: A Question
          I am looking for the same kind of solution, making sure that it gets VERY tedious to copy those e-books of mine, unless going through the payment process.

          I think of a different approach, though - which I think would be simpler.

          The objective (as well as your objective, from what I understand) would be accomplished if the file could copy ONLY ONCE. That would enable a paying customer to download the file from the server to his/her own machine - and then it would just never move from there... As you say, personal printing is OK. But transferring over a network or to a CD or to some other removable drive is certainly NOT OK.

          It would be preferable to only enable that first and only download with a password, which can be sent automatically when the payment process is completed. This would make it technically possible, I think, to enable multiple downloads of the file on the server, but once opened with a password, all copying it locked.

          Any comments on this? Or alternatives that will accomplish the objective of making distribution very tedious, if not impossible?


          Mogens Eliasen
          • 2. Re: PDF Security: A Question
            (Aandi_Inston) Level 1
            A PDF file is a file. Anyone can copy any file, any time, e-mail it,
            put it on a disk or an iPod, without limits. They can do this whether
            or not Adobe Reader is installed on a computer, just by dragging and
            dropping the files or whatever.

            So, I can see that you might see this as a simpler way of protecting
            files, but in fact it's just impossible. What IS technically possible
            is solutions which tie a PDF file to a particular machine or user, so
            that the copy is useless to anyone else - which is back to DRM.

            PDF security, such as it is, is based on DRM solutions, which by their
            very nature tend to be a bit high end. For example, they tend to need
            a server 24/7 on the internet to keep track of who is allowed what.

            Nolos_Retep's proposal is technically possible but would require a DRM
            plug-in to be written for Reader. This makes it much more expensive
            than most commercial solutions, the DRM plug-in license costing tens
            of thousands of dollars. It would also need custom server software.
            However, it has some similarities to products from FileOpen, so take a
            look at them.

            Aandi Inston
            • 3. Re: PDF Security: A Question
              Passwords tend to be forgotten easily and are a support nightmare and if licensing control is not used then there is nothing to stop users sharing them.

              We looked at several DRM companies as part of a consultancy project for a client. FileOpen was complex and their history of security incidences looked rather shady. We talked to a couple of their customers who had endless problems when Adobe and Microsoft updated their software and after trying out the software ourselves gave it a bigs thumbs-down. We also looked at Armjisoft (don't think they actually have any customers) and their 'security' seemed rather dubious with a plug-out design, and LockLizard who use their own viewer. Most of the other companies we looked at did use passwords but did not prevent them from being shared - so there was no point in pursuing these further. We ended up recommending LockLizard to our customer based on feedback from their customers and our own use of the software - also it did everything our client required. Their pricing starts at $2495 which is a lot cheaper than some of high DRM companies who tend to specialize in document collaboration with PDF security on the side. However If you have $65,000 to spare you could always look at Adobe Policy Server. After all, this is an Adobe forum!
              • 4. Re: PDF Security: A Question
                This 3rd party company software provides pdf password protection - pdf encryption etc it might help. Visit http://www.pdflocker.com/

                Sincerely, Shair
                • 5. Re: PDF Security: A Question
                  We've used LockLizard SafeGuard to secure our company documents but we've noticed that there is an Un-Protector for LockLizard Protected pdc files "LockLizard PDC Un-Protector" which has been released by a pirate group DVT which can extract the raw pdfs from LockLizard protected pdc Files.

                  It's a very bad news for us. We do not know which drm company we can really trust.
                  • 6. Re: PDF Security: A Question
                    Are we allowed to point out pirated/cracked versions on Adobe forums? Really, if even these forums get infected with such crap... needless to say more.

                    So what DRM company we can trust? Any popular solution gets cracked sooner or later... if you really are a DRM user, you should know. Should we just use one that hasn't been used before? My company is not gonna be a beta tester for someone else...

                    Have you seen an Adobe product that hasn't been cracked? Or Microsoft? Or whatever popular product?
                    • 7. Re: PDF Security: A Question
                      I am interested in end user experiences on PDF Security software that has been deployed in their organizations. Can anyone recommend a good product? I have looked at those mentioned on the Adobe forum Publications, "Adobe no longer supporting Content Provider" #12, 10 Jun 2008 11:43 pm but it just seems to be several vendors either promoting their own products or slating their competitors. I am NOT interested in the opinions of mates, Publications, AdobePartner or jakob_r who are evidently vendors, so only REAL users please. I am NOT interested in vendors marketing blurb.
                      • 8. Re: PDF Security: A Question

                        I've used PDF OwnerGuard Advanced edition for my internal company document security requirements for over 3 years.

                        I'm not involved with e-publishing by the way for my internal company suecurity it will do the job perfectly without irritating my users.