Hacking a PDF?

Subject: Hacking a PDF?
From: "Bayne, Sonia E B246" <Sonia -dot- Bayne -at- CIGNA -dot- COM>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 11 Jan 2001 17:06:13 -0500

Respected Whirlers:
(First, I would search the archive on this, but for some incomprehensible
reason my company's Big cyber-Bro is blocking access... but I digress.)

Here's the story: I'm part of MarCom at an insurance company. From time to
time, we post .pdf files on our intra and Internet sites -- for example, to
show online collateral that a customer might want to pass on to employees.
Our hyper-cautious legal eagles (probably related to the above Big Bro) want
customers who access the pdfs to sign some kind of hold-harmless agreement
that they will not alter these files or hold us liable for any such changes.

Now the questions: I'm trying to find out what brought on this attack of
over-protection -- any ideas out there? Is there some notorious liability
case in court where a company was liable for some corrupted information
provided in a hacked pdf? Wouldn't a pdf be covered by normal copyright law,
if the printed collateral is?

(Quickly tying back to a TW-ish topic): If the pdf's Document Info/Security
is set so that Change Doc, Select Text or Graphics, and Add or Change Notes
are all set to "Not Allowed" could a creative hacker sneak by that
protection? If you have Acrobat as opposed to just AcroReader, can you
easily get around these protections?

That's probably way over my allotment of questions for today. Any and all
info gratefully received -- please email me direct (I have digest lag), and
if there's interest I will post a summary.

mailto:sonia -dot- bayne -at- cigna -dot- com

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