Monday, April 18, 2011

LOOK, if you are redacting text in a PDF, DON’T just use a black highlighter!

Business Insider - Britain Posts Redacted Nuclear Secrets Online, Which Could Be Viewed Simply By Copying And Pasting The Text

“A declassified-but-redacted document about nuclear submarines was posted by Britain's Ministry of Defense. Due to a "technical error," however, the redacted text could be revealed by copying and pasting it, according to The Guardian.

We assume this technical error was the use of digital black highlighter rather than an actual highlighter. For instance: top secret information.

The MoD corrected its error after being informed by a tabloid, The Daily Star Sunday. …”

I know most of you won’t care about this, but this just bugs and and since it’s my blog… ;)


Don’t we know better yet? It’s not like this is the first, or hundredth, time this has happened. If it’s important enough to redact something, then do it right… sigh

A) Don’t use an “electronic highlighter” to redact/black out text. You must ensure the text is physically removed from, or obscured in, the document and that the document does not contain a backup (aka previous version, change track, etc) of the content

B) Test your redaction. Use every method that comes to mind to test your redaction to ensure the text/content is gone, gone. From simple like trying to copy and paste, to forensically review and sample it.

C) RTFM. There’s applicable information directly from Adobe on how to redact content in PDF’s, Redactions and PDF’s, the right way… -> Rick’s Acrobat X Redaction Guide. Know it, live it, be it…



Related Past Post XRef:
Redactions and PDF’s, the right way…

And AGAIN a PDF Redaction gone wrong... When will you get the message!?
PDF’s and Redaction gone wrong… again…
Another PDF Redaction Snafu
US Military PDF Redaction "Issue"
CSI Trick of the day: How do you look “under” black Magic Marker’ed text?

"Clean Up After Your PDFs"

No comments: