Break Free Your Digital Editions

/ First published in 2008 — Please see 2011 update here /

Decrypt Adobe ADEPT-encrypted PDF files, AKA Digital Editions

I recently bought an Adobe Digital Edition of a decent book titled “Mastering CSS with Dreamweaver CS4” from Peachpit (if you decide to buy something there, do not forget to register—you will get a good instant discount as a member).

The book is fine, but I hate this DRM stuff as I need to access my books sometimes on a casual machine and that is impossible unless you install Adobe™ Digital Editions and activate it via Adobe’s DRM Activator site (for some reason it is called “Eden”, there is no sign of Eden there at all!). So I decided to find a way to overcome and remove DRM protection from Adobe pdf file, not for sharing this book, but for my convenience.

Digital Editions

After an extended search, I found a way, and everybody can repeat the same sequence. So far, this protection (ADEPT encryption) was considered to be officially unbreakable, but it seems not anymore. Continue reading “Break Free Your Digital Editions”

Virus Silent Threats

/ First published in 2008 /

Concept of Malware

You can get completely mad trying to understand which antivirus product to choose if you read countless reviews and tests. Results often contradict one another even coming from independent sources. Let’s try to understand why it is happening and what measures of common sense we could apply to protect ourselves from viruses and from lousy security products.

Concept of Malware in 2009

The public misconception of viruses makes people think that if nothing suspicious happens, they are fine (the opposite of that can be very exhausting, to the extreme when after any noticeable slowdown people blame a virus and reinstall the system from scratch!). A modern virus is far different from a virus 10-15 years ago. It used to be done for fun—deleting files, making computer unusable, irritating user with offensive messaged, and so on. Infection in most cases was obvious and virus creators were like warriors of the underground world, looking for fame and glory. Not anymore. Malware writing is a big business now. That big business wants to be in the shadow, because it is mostly criminal. Infected computers connected to the internet are organized in botnets. Number of bots (remotely controlled workstations) connected can be up to few hundred thousands (!), commanded by only one masterbot. That power can be used to generate spam, DOS attacks (“denial of service” when massive number of requests can completely disrupt a web-server (website) operation), brute-force cracking, illegal/secret information exchange and storage, fake ad hits generation and so on. Botnets are available for rent in the underground. Continue reading “Virus Silent Threats”