Friday, December 5, 2008

Acrobat 9 and Password Encryption in PDF Files (256-bit AES vs. 128-bit AES)

One of the new features in Adobe Acrobat 9 is the ability to use 256-bit AES encryption when password protecting PDF files (instead of the 128-bit AES encryption that Solid PDF Tools Scan to PDF and Adobe Acrobat 7 and later do).

Although this does allow for much longer passwords than before (127 instead of 32), users with passwords less than 32 characters would be much better off using 128-bit AES encryption as the new encryption level makes it much easier than before for hackers to brute force passwords.

Fortunately, users of both Adobe Acrobat 9 and Solid Converter PDF to Word can simply keep using 128-bit AES encryption when password protecting files to retain the level of security they've had in the past.

Care for more technical details? Check out ZDNet and Adobe's blog posts on the subject.