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How to remove metadata from Word and PDF files before leaking them

Discussion in 'How To' started by 33755, Mar 8, 2009.

  1. 33755 Member

    How to remove metadata from Word and PDF files before leaking them

    Very helpful tools. One should remove metadata from PDF and Word files, and "flatten" PDF documents before leaking them anywhere or distributing copies of documents to others.


    How to remove metadata from Word and PDF files before leaking them

    Flattening PDF Annotations in Adobe Acrobat
    Flattening PDF Annotations in Adobe Acrobat: AECbytes Tips and Tricks

    Remove Hidden Metadata from Word Documents & PDF files
    TechnoEsq Remove Hidden Metadata from Word Documents

    Office 2003/XP Add-in: Remove Hidden Data
    Download details: Office 2003/XP Add-in: Remove Hidden Data
  2. TinyDancer Member

    Re: How to remove metadata from Word and PDF files before leaking them

    This is gold.
  3. Forseti Member

    Re: How to remove metadata from Word and PDF files before leaking them

    This needs to be stickied! This is very helpful info, thanks!
  4. OTBT Member

    Re: How to remove metadata from Word and PDF files before leaking them

    Thanks for the links! I've been looking for something to remove metadata, but this is the first time I've seen this info.
  5. OTBT Member

    Re: How to remove metadata from Word and PDF files before leaking them

    Some people may find this simple tool useful; it wipes all the free space on your hard drive. Its free and easy to use:

    TraceKiller Download - Softpedia

    Independent info on the Trace Killer program:

    wlargroup.com | Web Safety Ratings from McAfee SiteAdvisor
  6. Anonymous Member

    Re: How to remove metadata from Word and PDF files before leaking them

    To erase free space on a Mac you can use Disk Utility:
    (Mac OS X 10.4): Erasing free disk space

    "Secure Empty Trash" does a 7 pass overwrite on the files in the trash

    you can use "srm" with the command line. This can be handy if you just want to do a single overwrite. 7 pass is probably overkill and takes 7 times as long

    [SPOILER]SRM(1) SRM(1)

    NAME
    srm - securely remove files or directories

    SYNOPSIS
    srm [OPTION]... FILE...

    DESCRIPTION
    srm removes each specified file by overwriting, renaming, and truncat-
    ing it before unlinking. This prevents other people from undeleting or
    recovering any information about the file from the command line.

    srm, like every program that uses the getopt function to parse its
    arguments, lets you use the -- option to indicate that all following
    arguments are non-options. To remove a file called '-f' in the current
    directory, you could type either "srm -- -f" or "srm ./-f".

    OPTIONS
    -d, --directory
    ignored (for compatibility with rm(1))

    -f, --force
    ignore nonexistent files, never prompt

    -i, --interactive
    prompt before any removal

    -r, -R, --recursive
    remove the contents of directories recursively

    -s, --simple
    only overwrite with a single pass of random data

    -m, --medium
    overwrite the file with 7 US DoD compliant passes (0xF6, 0x00,
    0xFF, random, 0x00, 0xFF, random)

    -z, --zero
    after overwriting, zero blocks used by file

    -n, --nounlink
    overwrite file, but do not rename or unlink it

    -v, --verbose
    explain what is being done

    --help display this help and exit

    --version
    output version information and exit

    NOTES
    srm can not remove write protected files owned by another user, regard-
    less of the permissions on the directory containing the file.

    The -s option overrides the -m option, if both are present. If neither
    is specified, the 35-pass Gutmann algorithm is used.

    Development and discussion of srm is carried out at <http://source-
    forge.net/project/?group_id=3297>, which is also accessible via
    <http://srm.sourceforge.net>.

    [/SPOILER]
  7. Anonymous Member

    Re: How to remove metadata from Word and PDF files before leaking them

    Does anyone have a method of removing metadata from WMA files? At least the metadata that ID's the computer it was generated on?
  8. Re: How to remove metadata from Word and PDF files before leaking them

    Metadata can also be found in image files.
  9. JonathanG Member

    Re: How to remove metadata from Word and PDF files before leaking them

    Indeed. There are metadata removal tools for image files as well.
  10. Anonymous Member

    Re: How to remove metadata from Word and PDF files before leaking them



    Actually, I think that would be incorrect. I think 7 times is more useful than just once. Once may not get it all. A 7 pass program gets everything for certain. I have, on my XP, something called "Eraser". It's a free download and it uses a customizable option that lets you choose your pass amount. I use the (iirc) 35 pass erase. Start it before bed, go to sleep, wake up and have everything deleted without and worry it missed something.
  11. Thouodep Member

    The "you have to do it more than once" standards were based on a considerably older technology. It is no longer necessary. It doesn't hurt, but it's no longer needed on very-high-capacity drives.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. Saul Goodman Member

  13. There's something even easier: install a free pdf printer (e.g. bullzip) and reprint it to pdf .... and if u want to make sure nothing escapes your wandering eye: print it as images... and reassemble
  14. muldrake Member

    Of course then whenever it goes up on the net it will be unsearchable by Google (though they seem to be working on that).

    Better, know file formats! Know what goes into them. Know where the metadata goes. Know what's in it and what it does. Always look at it in a hex editor first. If you really feel like fun, insert fake metadata so the half-bright dickweeds who always look at it and post it have something to entertain them.
  15. muldrake Member

    Depends how serious you are. It's not that much more difficult to do a military-grade wipe. So it doesn't hurt to overkill.

    Of course, if you really are dealing with the military, you're basically fucked anyway. No degree of wiping will save you. As xkcd once pointed out.

    security.png
    • Like Like x 1
  16. Anonymous Member

    Probable spam reported.
  17. Disambiguation Global Moderator

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