US secrets revealed by cut&paste

Didn’t get around to posting this yesterday, so here’s how Boing Boing tells the story:

“Mark Frauenfelder: Simon says: “Seems that the US report on the killing of Italian agent Calipari in Baghdad by US forces was redacted by a PDF novice who didn’t understand how to operate the DRM. Consequently all the names, numbers and details carefully redacted by the military are available with just a simple cut-and-paste. Does this make the clipboard a DMCA violation mechanism?””

“This morning Gianluca Neri, an Italian blogger from Milano, had a look at the document which was published on the net and ridiculized the whole American secret services. With a simple cut and paste from the Acrobat document into a word processor, he was able to disclose all details to the public: names, places, the name of the soldier who fired, everything…

It is actually pretty simple to recover that information. Open this PDF, select all text, copy to clipboard and paste into a regular text editor. if your version of Arcobot does not let you select the text, find the Microsoft Word document here.”


This falls into the same category as sending around Word documents with change control activated – and these are the people that try to tell us how to be secure. Thank you very much.

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