Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Anyone know how to crack a locked pdf? :)

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Election Reform Donate to DU
 
geo Donating Member (879 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 01:19 PM
Original message
Anyone know how to crack a locked pdf? :)
Hi all,

I just had an interesting conversation with a particular counties registrar of voters office about why I was unable to copy data out of the Statement of Vote PDF. The attitude of this particular county seems to be that a Pdf in which data can be extracted is not desirable (they wouldn't tell me why... just that it was).

The gentleman on the phone seemed to get more to the point when I told him I wanted to do statistical analysis on the data present, but still tried to explain to me how undesirable it was to let the public have that much control over the contents. I explained to him that in doing a statistical analysis, it would be a tiresome effort to manually move the data over. He started to sympathize, but said the person I wanted to speak to was out of the office today. He took my number and said he would check a few other options, but likely this other person would be my only shot at getting the data in a manageable form.

We need not mention the county here, but it is a county Bev with BBV, and others like her have had some serious problems with. ;) Now, why would a county want to make sure people couldn't copy and paste data out of the only file with precinct level data???? Hmm.

Anyone have an idea how I can get the data out of that file? I can select the text, but it won't let me copy because of the document settings. I have a feeling they are going to stall me out, or understand my m.o. with the data before I have a chance at doing much more. I may need more docs later, so I am still trying to operate in casual mode with these folks.

Help?? :)

- George
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 01:21 PM
Response to Original message
1. You could scan it and do character recognition...
I would imagine there's a utility or two out there that will crack it though.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
geo Donating Member (879 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 01:23 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Is it reliable?
I would hate to be doing analysis on skewed data. It is a large county with lots-o-precincts. :) -G
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
trotsky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 01:35 PM
Response to Reply #3
18. Well if you have the full version of Acrobat they have a plug-in
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
geo Donating Member (879 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 01:21 PM
Response to Original message
2. btw, this is a PUBLIC doc and the crack is within my "right to access"
so don't worry about the legal stuff. ;) If you would rather Pm or e-mail me with the info, that is o.k. too. - G
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
jhgatiss Donating Member (369 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 01:24 PM
Response to Original message
4. Tell them you want the data in a different format.
Tell them you want the data as a plain text or tab-delineated file. I think that is typical GEMS output so that shouldn't be an issue for them to cough up if they are using the seemingly ubiquitous GEMS tabulator.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Pepper32 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 01:27 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. Self Deleted
Edited on Fri Dec-03-04 01:30 PM by Pepper32
x
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
geo Donating Member (879 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 01:28 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. I know. They should be a little more willing to put the data in a
tab or comma dilimited text file. A Pdf that is so locked up is ridiculous, but they seem sure that anything less is problematic.

Like I said before... this is a county Bev and BBV had major problems with (but please do not mention the county name in this thread).

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
nashville_brook Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 01:26 PM
Response to Original message
5. i'm an art director
and when i send things to the printer that are "locked" down, they can "unlock" them with their super-duper print shop version of Acrobat. so, PDF's aren't unchangeable.

whether you could extract the data in a form you can use is another issue. if they imported it the original document in DB form, you might be able to select it that way. otherwise you should at least be able to copy, paste to your clipboard, and copy into whatever DB you want to do one field at a time.

are you mac-based?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
geo Donating Member (879 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 01:31 PM
Response to Reply #5
12. nope... PC based.
But what you said about the method in... the text is selectable, but copy is disabled. It wasn't a scan; the font info is still there. If I can even get it into text form I can use a macro to clean up the data and then import it into either excel or filemaker. :) -G
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
alpizzy Donating Member (737 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 01:32 PM
Response to Reply #5
14. Yes,
I work in print. We use Pit Stop to modify PDFs.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
geo Donating Member (879 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 01:40 PM
Response to Reply #14
24. Pit Stop... I need better software if I'm gonna keep playing web
detective... lol :) -G
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
China_cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 01:26 PM
Response to Original message
6. Do you have Acrobat?
If so, it should open it up for you with the editing features.

If you don't, maybe somebody you know does?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
geo Donating Member (879 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 01:32 PM
Response to Reply #6
13. I have reader 6 and it doesn't want to let me edit.
:) -G
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
China_cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 01:41 PM
Response to Reply #13
26. No, not the reader
The full Acrobat. I have v5 and would offer to see if it would crack it but v6 has been out long enough that that is probably the creator and 5 wouldn't even open it.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
geo Donating Member (879 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 01:59 PM
Response to Reply #26
38. any advice on how I could get the file to you or anyone else who
has a full version? The County called back during the discussion here (I wonder if they read DU) and said their IT guy says the full version will allow a copy/paste out of the file. :) -G
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
China_cat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 02:17 PM
Response to Reply #38
45. you can email it to me
chinacat@3harpiesltd.com

I'll see if I can extract it for you.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
lucabrasi Donating Member (96 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 01:28 PM
Response to Original message
8. This may help
http://www.password-crackers.com/crack/guapdf.html

They have a demo version for "small files"
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
geo Donating Member (879 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 01:43 PM
Response to Reply #8
27. Looks good, but this is a rather big file, plus it says the average...
time for a demo crack is about 1 week. :) Thanks though! - G
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
lucabrasi Donating Member (96 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 01:52 PM
Response to Reply #27
36. One week is if decryption is required
There are different levels of protection with PDF files. What you are describing is not an encrypted document (requires a password to open file) but a document with a few restriction bits turned on.

Removing restrictions is instant (per their claims) but I can believe that as it is completely different from breaking strong encryption.

FWIW I'm a software engineer and have been creating encrypted PDFs for a project. The encrypted versions are pretty secure, but just adding restrictions is something else. Sorry I can't help, I just have code that encrypts or adds restrictions, nothing to remove...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
noamnety Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 01:28 PM
Response to Original message
10. Is the document online somewhere?
Edited on Fri Dec-03-04 01:29 PM by lwfern
I'd like to take a look at it.

If all else fails, I'd be happy to help transcribe it for you - maybe a transcriber and a separate proofreader could work.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
geo Donating Member (879 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 01:33 PM
Response to Reply #10
16. I'll Pm the link... but by transcribe, I hope you don't mean by hand!
Just the pages I am looking at are over 30, and they are fairly fine print! :) -G
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
geo Donating Member (879 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 01:36 PM
Response to Reply #16
19. OMG! They disabled the link! Glad I downloaded the copy....
right now the link just directs you to registration data they are trying to hock for $395 a disk. I downloaded the SoV days ago now, but it is a rather large zip file. Should I try to e-mail it over? -G
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Pepper32 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 01:30 PM
Response to Original message
11. Have you tried a conversion tool? Here is one...
http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/access_onlinetool...
Not sure how reliable this is, hope it helps.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
geo Donating Member (879 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 01:36 PM
Response to Reply #11
20. I'll check this out. Thanks!
:) -G
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
skids Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 01:33 PM
Response to Original message
15. send it to me.

I can probably get the data out.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
geo Donating Member (879 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 01:38 PM
Response to Reply #15
22. 7.69 MB Zip... are you o.k. with that?
:) -G
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
skids Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 01:59 PM
Response to Reply #22
39. Just fine.

I bow to no file. :-)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
texastoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 01:34 PM
Response to Original message
17. PDF Addin
Called Paper Capture might help. What version of Adobe do you have?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
geo Donating Member (879 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 01:37 PM
Response to Reply #17
21. Reader 6.0
:) -G
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
texastoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 01:40 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. Is there a menu option called
Document?

That's where my Paper Capture is located. I'm in a customized environment. Check your Help and do an index search of "paper capture."

Any help?

If nothing else, you can pm me with the doc.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
cyn2 Donating Member (438 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 02:41 PM
Response to Reply #17
50. I have Acro 6.0 and I've fiddled with cracking files. Where?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
texastoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 05:07 PM
Response to Reply #50
58. Under Document
on my menu. However, it might be a specially purchased addin and my firm might have customized its location on the menu bar. Look under all the menu buttons and see if you have it. Also, check your Help file index with the search words "paper capture."
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
OhMcNo Donating Member (38 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 01:40 PM
Response to Original message
25. PDF Security
I have looked at the guts of PDFs with security enabled. In the code it indicates that hacking the file is a violation of the DMCA. IIRC, the latest high-end tools (PitStop Professional) will not allow you to do anything with the file. If you can print and scan it though, I gather you could OCR it legally. I would double-check the numbers in the resulting file, though.

OCR software - http://www.abbyy.com has a free 14-day trial to convert from image to text. (Windows-only software)

Michael
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
skids Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 01:48 PM
Response to Reply #25
29. Well, DMCA only covers...

Distributing software that bypasses the code. Individuals are free to modify software so that it bypasses the code.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
OhMcNo Donating Member (38 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 01:57 PM
Response to Reply #29
37. From the Postscript code of a protected PDF file...
% Removing the following ten lines is illegal, subject to the Digital Copyright Act of 1998.
currentfile eexec
6ebb4949d640ad13b78a1bb8e40ddda64d5017a356a3e054d4e1051a6bef
<balance of security key...>

Don't know if it is enforceable...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
meisje Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 01:43 PM
Response to Original message
28. You may be able to open it in Illustrator, PM me if you need it done
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
geo Donating Member (879 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 01:49 PM
Response to Reply #28
31. I'll try Illustrator... brb
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
geo Donating Member (879 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 01:51 PM
Response to Reply #31
33. Darn... don't have illustrator... just photoshop...
lol... shows you how often I use the software. :) -G
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
OhMcNo Donating Member (38 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 01:52 PM
Response to Reply #28
34. Illustrator CS
Doesn't look like that will work. It will ask for a password if security is enabled. (just tested). Didn't check all settings - but even enabling copying of text, images, etc. in the PDF will not let AICS open it.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
geo Donating Member (879 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 01:48 PM
Response to Original message
30. SAID COUNTY JUST CALLED... their IT guy says I can get...
the data with a full version of adobe (all I have is reader). This is a 7MB plus document. Is there anyway I can pass it on to someone to open, make the data accessible somehow, and send it back? :) -G
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
dzika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 01:49 PM
Response to Original message
32. Can you give us an example file
to play around with?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
geo Donating Member (879 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 01:52 PM
Response to Reply #32
35. I can give the actual file, but it is in a 7MB+ zip folder.
Maybe there is somewhere I can upload it to, or would e-mail handle it? :) -G
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
dzika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 02:06 PM
Response to Reply #35
40. Geo - just sent upload info to you via email
n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
geo Donating Member (879 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 02:08 PM
Response to Original message
41. SOLVED. Thanks to everyone for helping! :) :)
Hi all,

A couple of kind hearted DUrs have the file now and I feel confident the data will be accessible. With the County's IT guy getting involved saying that a full version would allow a copy/paste, I think we are o.k. on this topic.

I just wanted to thank you all for coming to my aid with this frustrating file!!

Warmly,

George
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
jamboi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 02:11 PM
Response to Reply #41
42. In case that doesn't work here's an idea. print & OCR scan it or
Edited on Fri Dec-03-04 02:12 PM by jamboi
print screen it then print it and OCR scan it.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
geo Donating Member (879 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 02:14 PM
Response to Reply #42
44. Not a bad thought, but no OCR soft and am wondering about the...
integrity of the data. A couple of DUrs have offered to get the data out, but now I'm having a problem getting the e-mail sent (server rejects because file just barely exceeds my servers limit.. it is zipped to). Any ideas? :) -G
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
geo Donating Member (879 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 02:12 PM
Response to Reply #41
43. ACTUALLY, NOT SOLVED QUITE YET.... e-mail server will not
handle the file size. Any ideas? :) -G
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
skids Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 02:21 PM
Response to Reply #43
46. do you know how to use FTP? n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
dzika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 02:34 PM
Response to Reply #43
48. Use FTP if you can or
you could also try to send it via an instant messenger (Yahoo, AOL)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
skids Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 02:43 PM
Response to Reply #48
52. I do IRC you could DCC it n/t
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
geo Donating Member (879 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 02:49 PM
Response to Reply #48
53. have AIM on now... ;)
:) -G
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
cyn2 Donating Member (438 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 02:43 PM
Response to Reply #43
51. How'd you get it?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
geo Donating Member (879 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 02:51 PM
Response to Reply #51
54. It was readily available for download through working links
just a couple days ago. Now the link isn't working. I saved a copy that day. ) -G
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
skids Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 02:26 PM
Response to Original message
47. Side topic -- since there are hackers here...
Edited on Fri Dec-03-04 02:27 PM by skids
Look what just popped up in my weblog:

Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1; Lee County Property Appraiser's Office, Lee County, Florida; .NET CLR 1.0.3705; .NET CLR 1.1.4322)

...if it is state policy for all the county offices in Florida to have version strings in their browser software, we can examine our weblogs and see who's reading up on us...

(Oh I should mention this is a total cooincidence. The file they were getting was not related to elections.)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
mccoyn Donating Member (512 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 02:38 PM
Response to Original message
49. Print to file?
My idea is to get the Postscript printer driver from the Adobe website. That driver has an option to print to a file. You can then open that .ps file with Acrobat. I expect that the security flags will be lost while leaving the appearance of the document unchanged.

Driver: http://www.adobe.com/support/downloads/detail.jsp?ftpID...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
geo Donating Member (879 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 02:54 PM
Response to Original message
55. RESOVED! Thanks again to everyone here for helping! :) -G
:) -G
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
FloridaCrat Donating Member (160 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 03:25 PM
Response to Reply #55
56. Sorry for the late reply, but you could try to open the file directly with
Edited on Fri Dec-03-04 03:25 PM by FloridaCrat
Excel. Once the data is in the spreadsheet, you can do your statistical analysis. I spent a few hours yesterday tearing my hair out on this too... Can you post a link to the file you were trying to open, so I can try this one too?

I don't know why the election files are in that format - must be to discourage those who are easily discouraged...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
lip-sink Donating Member (75 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 03:27 PM
Response to Original message
57. have all u need
george

write me at eleegee@mail15.com and i will reply with a 1-2 mb program with all you need.

best, lips
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
geo Donating Member (879 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-03-04 05:15 PM
Response to Original message
59. DATA FROM SAID COUNTY NOW IN MY SPREADSHEET... :)
Thanks again to all those in this thread who helped me get to the data. :) -G
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Sun Apr 20th 2014, 04:22 AM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » Topic Forums » Election Reform Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC