Image Software Currency Detector Pretty Much Useless

from the thanks-for-wasting-everyone's-time dept

I avoided the big story of the last week or so concerning the fact that many image manipulation programs, including Photoshop, were now including technology that’s only purpose was to stop people from scanning images of major currencies. However, this latest article on the topic brings up two interesting points. First, and most importantly, the system they’re using is so weak, that just about everyone has figured out a way around it. This is just like many copy-protection systems found on entertainment offerings. The whole point is to protect people from doing anything “bad” with it. However, the people who are going to do bad things with it (such as counterfeiting money) certainly aren’t going to give up the first time Photoshop tells them “sorry”. So, this won’t impact them one bit. The people it will impact are other users who are trying to use images of currency for some completely legitimate reasons. They can figure out a way around the restrictions as well – but it makes it a much bigger effort for no reason. The other disturbing part about this revelation is that Adobe admits that they don’t even know how the blocking software works. They were given the code by by the Central Bank Counterfeit Deterrence Group without details on how it works or what it really does. In other words, the software could do a lot more than blocking images of currency. I doubt it really does at this point – but the fact that they would simply dump in a software component that they don’t know what it’s really doing, and then not tell customers about it is a bit disturbing.

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