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PDF Passwords

New Here ,
Sep 18, 2020

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I created some interactive PDF documents and password protected them to stop editing by users.

I have recently tried to open one to make some small changes and the password is not being accepted.

When I look at properties it would appear that I am no longer the author of the document.  Is it possible that someone could have accessed my document and changed the password?

Alan, Bromley

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General troubleshooting, Security digital signatures and esignatures

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PDF Passwords

New Here ,
Sep 18, 2020

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I created some interactive PDF documents and password protected them to stop editing by users.

I have recently tried to open one to make some small changes and the password is not being accepted.

When I look at properties it would appear that I am no longer the author of the document.  Is it possible that someone could have accessed my document and changed the password?

Alan, Bromley

TOPICS
General troubleshooting, Security digital signatures and esignatures

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97

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Sep 18, 2020 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Sep 18, 2020

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The "author" is just some words in the file. It doesn't say anything about the actual creator. It doesn't have any connection to using the password. Probably some wrong settings in Word or something.

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Sep 18, 2020 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Sep 18, 2020

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HOWEVER, it is still a possibility that someone edited your file to annoy you, especially if it was available to students etc. Removing an edit password is so trivial to do it won't take them a second. No, we won't say how.

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Sep 18, 2020 0
New Here ,
Sep 18, 2020

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All very helpful but not resolving my issue. If they have changed it how can I change it back and make sure it is not changed again.

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Sep 18, 2020 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Sep 18, 2020

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Acrobat will only let you change the password if you know the current one. There is no magic to say "it's OK, this is my file, let me in anyway". You need backups. Always.

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Sep 18, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 18, 2020

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As TSN explained, it is possible. This change would however only affect a file that somebody had access to. Assuming that you also kept a copy of the original version of the file, that should still be in it's original condition, and you should be able to edit it - after providing the correct password. You may still even have an unprotected version of the file on your own computer. When I password protect files, I always keep the original - unprotected - version for archiving purpuses. 

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Sep 18, 2020 0
New Here ,
Sep 18, 2020

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KHK - thanks for the tip.  The original PDF document is saved to a shared Box file but I did not save a copy of the unsecure version.  It was originally converted from a Word document and I added the many fields needed.

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Sep 18, 2020 0
New Here ,
Sep 18, 2020

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Update - when I access these PDF's it would appear the Font has changed to Z@RD3C4.tmp which does not seem to be a supported font. On searching this would appear to have been an issue in years gone by.  Has it recurred and how to I get these back to the original Font which I think was Ariel.  Could this have some bearing on my password issue?

 

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Sep 18, 2020 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Sep 18, 2020

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It's unlikely the font changed (unless this file was completely remade by someone else). Fonts are not connected to passwords. Check the creation and modification date.

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Sep 18, 2020 0
New Here ,
Sep 18, 2020

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This is where I have a mystery as the "Created date" ties in with when I would have created it but the "Modified date is 21/04/2020 and "Application" is Acrobat PDFMaker 19 for Word whilst I am using Acrobat DC Pro.  The author shows as Jennifer Wood and the title of document is FIRM NAME and subject is "Information about our services".  All of these don't make sense.

It looks like someone has hacked into the document(s) and changed the password but I am assured this is not possible.

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Sep 18, 2020 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Sep 18, 2020

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"I am assured this is not possible." I don't know who assured you of that, but it's nonsense. An editing password is NO protection against a person with either luck or knowlege. This is why you must back up your files. In any case, password or no password, anyone could have DELETED your file, made a fake, and replaced it -- if you let them.

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