Document security fears grow

Beta testing for a document policy server will begin in the summer, an Adobe official says.

Problems with maintaining the confidentiality of electronic documents and preventing document tampering are on the rise, according to a security manager at Adobe Systems Inc.

Although he would not divulge details of any specific incident of document tampering in the federal government, John Landwehr, group manager for security solutions and strategy at Adobe, said cases of document spoofing represent a growing problem for both government and corporate offices.

"It's definitely well above the hundreds, and these are just the ones that we've heard about," Landwehr told Federal Computer Week.

Adobe officials said in February they would try to solve some of these security problems with a new software product called a policy server. Adobe's executive and legal departments have been using the software for the past nine months, but Adobe will not begin its beta tests with government and corporate users until summer, Landwehr said.

The policy server will be a Java application that runs on an application server like open-source JBoss Inc. products or IBM Corp. WebSphere for Microsoft Corp. Windows, Linux or Sun Microsystems Inc. Solaris. It will use TCP Port 80 and the Simple Object Assess Protocol for communication.

Adobe officials are working with document-management companies on code to integrate their products with the policy server.

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