Acrobat document security and plug-ins in general

Acrobat document security and plug-ins in general

Post by Sebastian Gans » Tue, 12 Mar 2002 10:23:28



I hope I am posting to the right location, and that my question does
not sound too foolish.

What is the relationship between Acrobat and Acrobat plug-ins?

I have been searching for a way to add security to Acrobat documents
from the command line through a standalone executable, or through an
ActiveX Server control in VB.  Essentially, I want to be able to point
to an unprotected PDF file, set security on it, and then add a
password for access.

I have read about a couple of products, including ARTS Security, but
in my searching I have become confused about the role plug-ins play
with Acrobat.  On some newsgroups, I have seen correspondances which
seem to indicate it is not possible to do the security functions I
want without writing a Plug-in.  According to Adobe, plug-ins are only
initialized when Acrobat is loaded.  However, the ARTS product
demonstration, while it does require that the user have a full version
of Acrobat installed, does not need to run Acrobat when the security
changes are made.  Am I wrong in thinking the security settings can
only be accessed using a plug-in, or is it possible to use a plug-in
without actually running Acrobat?

Thanks,
Sebastian

 
 
 

Acrobat document security and plug-ins in general

Post by Christian Koc » Wed, 13 Mar 2002 01:14:48



Quote:> I have been searching for a way to add security to Acrobat documents
> from the command line through a standalone executable, or through an
> ActiveX Server control in VB.  Essentially, I want to be able to
> point to an unprotected PDF file, set security on it, and then add a
> password for access.

> [...]

> Am I wrong in thinking the security settings can only be accessed
> using a plug-in, or is it possible to use a plug-in without actually
> running Acrobat?

You do not need Acrobat to secure your PDF files:

   http://pdf.glance.ch/eval/

Look for "LIN - Linearization Tool" But beware: protection by owner
password can be easily broken:

   http://www.stillhq.com/ctpfaq/2002/02/c2083.html#AEN2089

If you want restrict openening the PDF file you have to set the so
called user password. Acrobat versions up to 4.05 support only 40 bit
encryption, beginning with Acrobat 5.0 you can use 128 bit encryption.

Christian.

 
 
 

Acrobat document security and plug-ins in general

Post by Mark Gavi » Wed, 13 Mar 2002 20:32:38




Quote:> I have been searching for a way to add security to Acrobat documents
> from the command line through a standalone executable, or through an
> ActiveX Server control in VB.  Essentially, I want to be able to point
> to an unprotected PDF file, set security on it, and then add a
> password for access.

> I have read about a couple of products, including ARTS Security, but
> in my searching I have become confused about the role plug-ins play
> with Acrobat.  On some newsgroups, I have seen correspondances which
> seem to indicate it is not possible to do the security functions I
> want without writing a Plug-in.  According to Adobe, plug-ins are only
> initialized when Acrobat is loaded.  However, the ARTS product
> demonstration, while it does require that the user have a full version
> of Acrobat installed, does not need to run Acrobat when the security
> changes are made.  Am I wrong in thinking the security settings can
> only be accessed using a plug-in, or is it possible to use a plug-in
> without actually running Acrobat?

> Thanks,
> Sebastian

Sebastian,
 A PDF document can be encrypted using the "Standard Acrobat Security
Handler" mechanism with or without Acrobat.  Doing the encryption
without Acrobat requires a third party encryption product like our
SecurSign application.  Once a document has been encrypted using the
"Standard Acrobat Security Handler" mechanism; the document can be
opened and read using Acrobat Reader or other PDF viewers which
understands the "Standard Acrobat Security Handler" mechanism.

The "Standard Acrobat Security Handler" mechanism is a specific document
encryption technique used by Adobe and documented in the PDF Reference
Manual.  

An Acrobat plug-in has the ability to alter how the encryption key is
passed to and from the encryption/decryption routines within Acrobat.  
For example; WebBuy is an Acrobat plug-in which stores the document key
separately; thus, documents encrypted by WebBuy can not be opened unless
the WebBuy plug-in is present and loaded.

More information on our SecurSign application can be found on our web
site at http://www.appligent.com.

Regards,

Mark Gavin
Chief Technology Officer
Appligent, Inc.
http://www.appligent.com