+HCU: Academy of reverse engineering
hcu97 Founded by +ORC in April 1996 hcu98

(Portable Document Format reversing, November 1997)

(Background Info: see +ORC email on newuni.htm)

As first contribution I'll give you here the very protected files that caused my original email to +ORC in the first time. They are not only "target material" but "study material" as well, since these essays from Ghiribizzo are interesting in themselves.

PSedit (ghiric1.pdf)
low security, menu and option grayed, Acrobat reader can still close and pass to another file
How to protect better, a strategy (ghiric3.pdf)
higher security, heading still there with the three boxes, reader cannot open another file
Numega's Boundschecker 5.xx (ghiric7.pdf)
higher security, heading still there with the three boxes, reader cannot open another file

And you'll of course find more 'ghiribizzi' on
Ghiribizzo's own site


Here are the first interesting answers, a lot of people have immediatly started working on this, with amazing results: I believe that you'll nowhere on the whole Web find -now- a page that has so many info about acrobat's format. And I had almost no info to give on this three days ago!
Examining the messages I have got, I notice that some found this project relatively easy, some, on the countrary, quite hard, many where happy to tackle this kind of targets. Globally I noticed that things where somehow easier for all 'unix/linux buffs', somehow more difficult for DOS/Windoze's crackers. I'm beginning to suspect that +ORC idea with this was to put unixers and windozers together on a common project...

Well, I may add a short note of satisfaction: I published this "call for a project" three days ago and we are ALREADY NOW more deep in this matters than (almost) anybody else on the Web! Not bad, is it?

PHASE 1, by JimBob, 31 October 1997
redThe Aerial trick
How to crack any pdf security setting
(The Aerial RTF format converter)

PHASE 2, by zeezee, 31 October 1997
redCreate PDF documents for free reversing Adobe PDF Writer
You know how to create .pdf documents? No? I will -shortly- explain it
(another nice HIEW lesson)

PHASE 3, by Zer0+, 1-12 November 1997
red Quick starting notes and pdf again
(boolean variables inside PDF files)

PHASE 4, by Ragica, 1 November 1997
redA Response to +ORC's Message Regarding reversing PDF
the biggest collection ever (in fact the only collection ever so far!) of information regarding hacking PDF and links to relavant information
(Kevin Lair CGI-hacks, the GhostScript hack, many good starting point for the USER crack)

PHASE 5, by SiuL+Hacky, 12 November 1997
redLinux cracking: the live approach (acrobat reader)
Linux advanced reverse engineering: imported functions

PHASE 6, by Snatch, 13 November 1997
redCracking all nag-screen and time-trial protections (Aerial32 as example)
(Resource-ID fishing)

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