Questions tagged [pdf]

Portable Document Format (PDF) is an open standard for electronic document exchange maintained by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Questions can be about PDF specific malware or protections.

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56 views

Strange virustotal tags on pdf file

I've received PDF at work, which I then ran through virustotal scan out of habit. It turned out to be clean, but at the same time some tags caught my attention, namely: checks-user-input detect-debug-...
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2answers
77 views

Vulnerabilities in Receiving User-Submitted PDF Files Through HTTP(S)

For context; I have a web application that allows users to upload a PDF file from which the web app extracts certain information by parsing it. The app then sends this information to another server ...
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2answers
6k views

Is cloudflare injecting tracking code for PDF requests in browsers via the browser PDF plugin?

Opening a PDF link in the browser (e.g. google chrome with the ootb PDF viewer plugin) apparently indicates that when the PDF is hosted on a cloudflare-facing domain there is additional data present ...
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90 views

Get encrypted PDF password

For a CTF challenge, I got a locked PDF file with a data folder that contains images, a plaintext file and a wav audio file. I used pdf2john.pl to get the password hash and I performed a brute force ...
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1answer
163 views

Where is the PDF encryption key stored

Assuming you have the user protected PDF file. Using the password, the cryptographic key is generated and the file encrypted. Where is the key stored, is it on the RAM every time the file is opened?
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3answers
1k views

Is Firefox's new JavaScript support within PDF files a security concern?

Historically, we have learned that many security vulnerabilities and exploits have resulted from allowing document files to contain executable code, whether it be JavaScript, VBScript, another ...
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2answers
272 views

How to harden Adobe Acrobat and Acrobat Reader

I found this recommendation by the CISA to disable Javascript in Acrobat Reader. Also, this article recommends to disable Flash and Multimedia, and the opening of non-PDF attachments. Both ...
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42 views

PAtched.Gen2 model detected on a pdf with exe embedded [duplicate]

I'm trying, following some tutorials on the net, to embed an exe inside a pdf file, using metaxploit. The problem is that, upon opening it, on the victim system, the antivirus detects the "TR / ...
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2answers
628 views

What PDF file format alternative should I choose if I am looking for more security in my document files? [closed]

There are tons of exploits being created using the PDF file format for most PDF viewers out there every year. PDF files have lots of power and can utilize things such as JavaScript. This is really ...
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25 views

Can I safely view a malicious PDF in gmail or dochub? [duplicate]

I receive pdfs that could be malicious. Is it safe to view them within Gmail? What about DocHub? Is that the same as 'opening' them? (FYI I use Firefox as a browser)
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604 views

John the ripper - "no password hashes loaded " for pdf

I'm trying to decrypt a pdf that I no longer have the password for. When I use JohnTheRipper, it can't seem to load any password hashes. Basically, this is what I run. └─$ perl pdf2john.pl /home/...
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2answers
221 views

Can converting a virus-infected webpage to PDF format still contain viruses [closed]

So I know that PDF files can contain viruses themselves if they are target specifically for that purpose. However, my question for here is this: If a webpage that has some malicious scripts or a virus ...
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423 views

Foxit Reader - disable JavaScript / Safely read PDF

Today I disabled JavaScript in my Foxit Reader settings because I hope to gain better security against malware embedded in PDF books I read. As some sort of simple check I tried to open a PDF with ...
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1answer
251 views

Is converting malicious PDF to JPG then backwards via web services is good method to obtain safe PDF?

I've downloaded a book but by default its considered malicious by me. I thought of converting that PDF to JPG here: https://smallpdf.com/pl/pdf-do-jpg Then backwards: https://smallpdf.com/pl/jpg-to-...
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2answers
253 views

Is it impossible to have a PDF file execute a command without abusing any exploits?

We are running a purple team which includes attempting to run a malicious PDF on the target system. The targeted user is well aware of the exercise so there is no concerns about an AV picking the ...
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143 views

Is the most secure way of viewing an infected pdf file through a cloud pdf reader like xodo using a pdf uploaded to Google Drive?

Is the most secure way of viewing an infected pdf file through a cloud pdf reader like xodo using a pdf uploaded to Google Drive? I have a work laptop and I currently work for a small startup that had ...
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1answer
2k views

Unable to get John the Ripper to crack PDF password

I am new to Kali Linux and JTR but am playing around trying to crack a PDF file. I set the PDF Password to test so it's a known password on my own file. For whatever reason JTR appears to finish ...
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1answer
162 views

How can a pdf file have two passwords?

I receive emails from my bank with password protected PDF files, and they provide two passwords - either xxxx or yyyy. How is this possible?
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3answers
5k views

Gmail warns about encrypted PDF file

I recently received a PDF file that, when attached to a gmail message, causes a warning to be displayed as follows: Encrypted attachment warning – Be careful with this attachment. This message ...
5
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1answer
555 views

Can a PDF embed a tracking image?

I know that PDFs can contain embedded images and Javascript. Can a PDF contain something that tracks you? For instance, can it contain a remote image that, when the PDF is opened, will fetch that ...
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1answer
249 views

Why do PDFs contain password hashes?

Reading this question about extracting PDF password hashes to feed into john the ripper has me wondering why password hashes are in a PDF in the first place? Shouldn't it be using the supplied ...
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41 views

John the Ripper [duplicate]

I've already cracked a PDF with pdf2john but it doesn't show the password. What could be the problem? (The password isn't blank.)
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598 views

Android 10 downloaded suspicious files without my permission

This is my first question on this forum so please let me know if I need to clarify anything. My Android 10 Pixel 2 just downloaded 2 files without my permission today, both named something to the ...
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8answers
2k views

Document security - how to find who's leaked a confidential document?

I am legally obliged to distribute a document (probably by email, probably saved as MS word, or a PDF) to several hundred recipients. The recipients are legally obliged to keep it confidential. ...
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1answer
158 views

PDF User Password always give access to the Owner Password, even when encrypted with AES-128

I've been messing around with qpdf, and noticed something that seems huge: that a document's Owner Password is essentially useless, as it can be easily unset, and therefore that only the User Password ...
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1answer
95 views

PDF Server Side 2020

I have been gathering information on handling PDF files for web applications. Much of my research has been on displaying the files to the user. What I want to learn here is how to properly handle the ...
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0answers
77 views

PDF Documents - Browser View 2020

I posted a question yesterday about PDF files in a browser that can be found here. There you can find more information about dealing with PDF documents in browser. My question here is how each ...
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1answer
540 views

PDF Documents in Browser 2020

I have a project where I would like to allow a user to view a document (PDF) in their browser by clicking on a link or thumbnail of the file. They would be able to download said file. Ive just begun ...
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39 views

Can flattened pdf documents contain viruses? [duplicate]

While I came to this site from researching whether inactive (or flattened) PDF documents could contain viruses and have come across this link in this site, it does not answer my question. I need to ...
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1answer
161 views

Printing document on usb drive with confidential information on multi user computer

I have a pdf file with confidential information on a usb flash drive. This document needs to be printed on a multi user Ubuntu system. I want to prevent other users from seeing the content of the ...
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1answer
3k views

How can we embed an exe containing a payload into a pdf file [closed]

I have created an exe with a payload which gives me a meterpreter session. But I need to embed this exe into a pdf. Upon opening the pdf the exe ideally should get executed. Is there any way to do ...
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0answers
107 views

Safest way to open PDFs on Android and iOS?

I was checking out Qubes' way of creating safe PDFs, but unless you use Qubes as a daily driver (and use DispVMs to open PDFs) it's still not viable to just use it to create image-based PDFs if you ...
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1answer
316 views

How likely are Evince, XReader or Adobe Reader with scripts disabled, to be exploited by a malicious file?

PDFs are very commonly found on the web, and I carefully either view them on the browsers, or use readers without the capability to run the scripts that may come with them (shitty design choice) like ...
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1answer
136 views

Could PDF's `/Filespec` type allow for remote file access?

I've read the PDF 1.7 spec 7.11.1 (okay, not all the spec, but a part of it), and I've seen that you have what Adobe calls /Filespec type objects. As far as I get it, this means that a PDF can make a ...
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1answer
238 views

Risks of allowing users to upload PDF and XML files to be stored/retrieved from a DB (ASPNET MVC 5)

I'm modifying an ASPNET MVC 5 web site and a requirement is to allow users to upload an XML and PDF file. The XML file will be used to layout text on the PDF based on variables coming from within the ...
4
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1answer
679 views

Can the conversion of a malicious PDF to image be exploitable?

Let's say I want to allow to the customer's of my website to upload PDF documents. What would be more safe to do: Convert the PDF to image using a library and store it in my file server as an image? ...
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1answer
199 views

Reason for fake academic pdf files found on sites like Google Scholar? [closed]

Using my web-browser, I clicked a link on Google Scholar that led to a fake paper (in .pdf format). The pdf contained many keywords and phrases related to the research topic, possibly for search ...
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2answers
918 views

Hash value changes after first opening a file

Is it possible or normal that the hash value of a file changes just after the first opening/execution of it? I used sha256sum function within Ubuntu terminal to check the hash values before and after ...
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1answer
2k views

Some digitally signed pdfs shown as verified in the pdf viewers while others are not [closed]

I have two pdf documents: 1 - My class 10 marksheet issued by the CISCE that I downloaded through digilocker. 2 - My Domicile certificate issued and downloaded from the aaplesarkar website. Both ...
3
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1answer
796 views

Is it safe to view local pdf files in a browser?

When receiving a pdf file by e-mail, the question is how to open it. Browsers are normally quite secure, don't support all pdf features (an advantage in this case) and the viewer/conversion might ...
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0answers
74 views

Burst and rebuild pdf to discard eventual embedded malware

This question deals with how to scan, while i am curious if my acrobat reader DC is compromised but in an isolated container and i pull out the pdf. Is it safe to disassemble the pdf by pdftk burst .. ...
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0answers
1k views

What is the difference between PKCS#7 and CADES, PADES and XADES?

I am newbie in PKI. For signing a pdf documents we are free to consider each pkcs#7 format or PADES format. If I have some misunderstandings, please turn it on for me.
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1answer
14k views

PDF UrlMal-inf[Trj] Virus

When I create PDF file from my particular DOCX file, it gets infected with the virus. But if I create a new DOCX file and create PDF from that, it doesn't get infected with the virus. I have tried ...
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1answer
65 views

Does making a pdf searchable make it more vulnerable? [closed]

I would like to know if making a pdf 'searchable' somehow make it less secure?
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30 views

How secure is pdf password protection? [duplicate]

I'm assuming PDF password protection uses encryption. How secure are the methods used? Can it be easily cracked or is it more in line with modern GPG encryption in terms of strength?
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1answer
2k views

Send GET request from a PDF file

I'm currently working on a security Proof Of Concept where I need to show the danger of opening an unknown PDF file. Internet says that many malwares use Javascript in PDF document (AcroJS) to ...
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59 views

What source formats are affected by ImageMagick's vulnaribility caused by Ghostscript?

According to https://www.theregister.co.uk/2018/08/23/imagemagick_ghostscript/ ImageMagick's convertion to PDF of arbitrary (user-submitted) documents should not be used because of Ghostscript's ...
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2answers
4k views

Malicious PDF file upload

I have a web server for my customers to upload their PDF files. I have also an IDS/IPS with Anti-Malware license that is between the user and the web server and blocks malicious PDF files from ...
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1answer
3k views

PDF and embedded JavaScript

We have completed a vulnerability and a penetration test. One feature of our application allows for documents to be uploaded, and we allow for PDF documents. Prior to a document being accepted we ...
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2answers
9k views

Is this a safe way to open a PDF file? [duplicate]

I have recieved an email with a pdf file whose content I want, but I'm not exactly sure what the source of it is. In gmail, I have two options: "Download" and "Save to Drive". I'm assuming it means ...