• Rise from your gwave!

anyone know how

Discussion in 'General' started by jim993, Apr 10, 2002.

  1. jim993

    jim993 New Member

    (Edited by jim993 at 6:52 pm on April 10, 2002)
     
  2. jim993

    jim993 New Member

    never mind i just had to download a newer version of acrobat reader.
     
  3. ExCyber

    ExCyber Staff Member

    It's actually trivial to get around most PDF protections, and a guy got thrown in jail for a while mostly for pointing this out...

    (Edited by ExCyber at 3:46 pm on April 10, 2002)
     
  4. JCTango

    JCTango New Member

    wha? What was all that about?
     
  5. ExCyber

    ExCyber Staff Member

    Here's the grossly oversimplified version:

    1) Dmitry Sklyarov, a Russian programmer working for Elcomsoft, writes a program that decrypts Adobe eBooks into unencrypted PDF format. This is completely legal in Russia, where Dmitry lives and works.

    2) Elcomsoft distributes the software to US customers through a US-based partner.

    3) Sklyarov attends Def Con, a computer security / cracking convention, as a speaker. He gives a presentation on the fundamental flaws in the eBook scheme, as well as pointing out that several quite expensive eBook encryption methods sold by third parties are actually trivial algorithms like ROT13. For those unfamiliar with cryptography, this is merely a cipher that rotates the alphabet by 13 letters, and is typically only used as a formality when posting potentially offensive material, or as a toy or joke. A decryption table for it can be made by writing the alphabet in two monospaced lines, and some people can decrypt it in their heads.

    4) Adobe complains to the FBI.

    5) The FBI arrests Sklyarov on the basis that he has distributed a circumvention device (the eBook decrypting software) prohibited by Title 17, Chapter 12 (part of the much-maligned Digital Millennium Copyright Act). IIRC, the affidavit for his arrest only indicated that he was the copyright holder of the software, not that he actually engaged in distribution.

    6) After various legal BS, Sklyarov was allowed to return home to Russia. However, charges against him have not been dropped, so he is subject to prosecution if he ever visits the US again.
     
  6. Subura

    Subura New Member

    Sometimes our goverment blows and sucks and the same time.
     
  7. RadSil

    RadSil New Member

    My God. So, people made money off of that? Oh, and anybody can decrypt it in their head, it just takes more time for some :) Though I guess if you never heard of that particular "cypher", and you were looking hard and deep for the type of encryption, there might be a miniscule chance you would miss it. Or maybe they just figured no one would be interested enough to bother cracking it.
     
  8. ExCyber

    ExCyber Staff Member

    Eh... I'm referring to not having *any* external assistance... maybe I should have said that they can just read it :p
     

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