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Security and Privacy Issues in the PDF Document Format

UPM Facultad de Informática researchers compile information on security and privacy for authors or readers of PDF documents, the most popular format for publication of digital documents.

This work by researchers from the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid’s Facultad de Informática surveys security and privacy threats related to digital document publishing. It addresses publisher-related information that is leaked once the document is sent over the Internet, as well as reader-related information that might be disclosed every time they open a downloaded document for examination. The work mainly focuses on the PDF document format that is the most popular document format for digital document publishing.

Publication of digital documents over the Internet poses serious security and privacy threats to both authors and readers. Previous research by the UPM Facultad de Informática’s Distributed Systems Laboratory researchers addressed information leakage in popular Microsoft Office document formats.

This research focuses on the PDF document format, which is the de facto standard for digital document exchange. Many institutions worldwide have adopted PDF as their document standard, and it has been estimated that billions of PDF documents are published or downloaded every day. The results of this research were published in the Journal of Systems and Software. Continue reading…

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