PDF: The Aerial trick
(How to crack any pdf security setting)
(31 October 1997)
Courtesy of Fravia's page
of reverse engineering
Well, short and directly to the point, I
added some info about Aerial code at the end
I visited your site last night and saw the info on
cracking Acrobat and PDFs. I've been interested in this file format
for awhile now since it is such a versitile format. I would like to
suggest another aspect of PDF cracking, extracting embedded fonts.
I have discovered that as long as you can open a pdf, text extraction
is no problem, no matter what the security settings are. I extracted
ghiric7.pdf text without a hitch. The secret is a free plugin for
exchange from Ambia (www.ambia.com). It allows extracting the text
to RTF format, and will do so even if selecting, printing, modifying
etc are all pw protected, it doesnt matter, it still extracts it. It
is supposed to extract the pictures too, but I've found that it's
just not that good at it.
You must first run Exchange and laod a PDF, then activate the aerial
toolbar. Close the file and the toolbar stays active. Now even if
you load say gharic7.pdf, which makes the Acrobat toolbar disappear,
the Ambia plugin stays active, select Extract to RTF and the text is
yours. Oh yea the plugin is called Aerial.
Can't wait to see how this project comes out!
(c) JimBob 1997. All rights reserved
Some of you may like to know that inside Aerial there are some
cmp dword ptr (eax+6CH), 1Eh
And that 1Eh (0x1E) corresponds to Decimal 30, like 30 days... and yes, there
is also another protection scheme there, as stupid as this one.
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