Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Geek Chic: Document Detective 2.0

Document Detective 2.0

Your company's documents could be concealing corporate secrets. Fragments of information thought to be discarded--deleted comments or data within linked spreadsheets--are often left behind in, or accessible from, word processing documents, PowerPoint presentations and Adobe PDFs. Recently, hidden or ostensibly deleted information in electronic documents exposed sensitive information at the White House, the United Nations and some federal agencies.

SRS Technologies, an IT services and software maker, says its Document Detective 2.0 puts an end to these leaks. The software removes document metadata and more than 100 other types of data that could be hidden within files, identifying and stripping away embedded objects, tracked changes, comments and other potentially damaging info.

We tested this software on a few PowerPoint presentations to see how much hidden data can be gleaned: We found detailed spreadsheet data not displayed in the presentation, the names and e-mail addresses of those who reviewed the document, even photos. We also examined a Word document containing a sales chart based on an Excel workbook linked using OLE technology. Although the Word chart showed only sales revenue data, one click brought us to the embedded workbook, which contained much more info, including customer names and average profit margins for several product categories.

  • 1