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eBook security debunker arrested by Feds

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Internet Security Threat Report 2014

A Russian security expert has been arrested after making a presentation at Defcon pointing out the shortcomings of eBook security.

Dmitry Sklyarov, of Russian software company ElcomSoft, and author of Advanced eBook Processor, which removes restrictions on reading and printing from encrypted PDF files, was arrested for alleged violations of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

According to an item on ElcomSoft's site, Sklyarov is being held a Las Vegas prison pending judgement on a motion filled by Adobe in California. Adobe has objected to the publication of the software and a presentation, entitled "eBook Security: Theory and Practice", that Sklyarov made at Defcon, the annual hacker's convention in Las Vegas.

Last month Adobe updated its Acrobat eBook Reader software in response to the release, by ElcomSoft, of its password recovery software. This wasn't good enough, according to ElcomSoft, which claims Adobe's basic methodology is still flawed.

"The protection in Acrobat eBook Reader 2.2 has not been improved at all. The changes are minimal, and exactly the same (weak) encryption is being used," said ElcomSoft, who backed up its claims by releasing an updated version of its password cracking software.

After that relations between the two firms deteriorated still further.

Planetebook reports that in late June Adobe's Anti-Piracy Enforcement Team sent a letter to ElcomSoft requesting that sales of Advanced eBook Processor cease within five days. Adobe also reportedly contacted Elcomsoft's ISP and tried to persuade it to pull the plug on the Elcomsoft Web site, a move that only temporarily worked.

For its part ElcomSoft said that Abode would do better to fix the problems with its software than label other firms as agents in software piracy.

"We claim that by aggressively pushing standards, unapproved by professional cryptologists, to the fast growing electronic books market and with pursuing of independent researchers who tries to highlight the problems, Adobe Systems violates the rights of books authors and publishers." ®

External Links

ElcomSoft
Adobe Acrobat eBook Reader updated after security issue
eBook security: theory and practice presentation

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