After reviewing the customer issues with our secure PDF application LockLizard we have decided to switch back to standard PDFs.   You will find in the next coming days that the existing products secured using LockLizard available through your members’ site account in standard PDF format.

The idea behind us using LockLizard was to cut down on the amount of piracy our support team has to deal with on a daily basis.  BUT if our measures to fight piracy cause our paying customer’s headaches then it’s not a good solution.

We have implemented a few new solutions to deal with piracy and one of them uses steganography to ensure that each user’s PDF is unique in addition to the standard watermarks (email address, IP address, etc).  This means that even if a user removes the watermark and reprints or converts the PDF into a new PDF it will still be identifiable by our support team as to who’s account it came from.  We had to add some bigger servers for this since the PDFs are generated on the fly.  We additionally had a crawler written that goes out and looks for pirated material and then automatically gets the files removed.

Lastly anyone want to buy a $10,000+ secure PDF application ;-)

About Brian Dennis, CCIE #2210:

Brian Dennis has been in the networking industry for more than 22 years, with a focus on Cisco networking for the past 16 years. Brian achieved his first CCIE in Routing & Switching in 1996, and is currently the only ten year CCIE that holds five CCIE certifications. Prior to working with INE, Brian taught and developed CCIE preparation courses for various well known training organizations. Brian not only brings his years of teaching experience to the classroom, but also years of real world enterprise and service provider experience.

Find all posts by Brian Dennis, CCIE #2210 | Visit Website

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

22 Responses to “Bye Bye LockLizard!”

  1. Dan says:

    Thanks! IE’s customer service wins again!

  2. Brian says:

    Brian, from a Mac and Linux-only user: thank you thank you thank you thank you! One less excuse for letting Microsoft into my life, even in VMware.

  3. [...] finally announced that they will no longer use LockLizard and use standard PDFs instead in this blog post, they also announced some new anti piracy measures such as steganography and anti piracy bots. For [...]

  4. From the beginning Brian and I have always struggled with the tradeoff between convenience to the user and protection of our intellectual property. When downloading free software or training or whatever from the Internet it’s easy to just write it off as being from some huge nameless corporation, and let’s be honest, none of it is that hard to find if you look for it. What is also easy to forget though is the amount of time and effort it took the author to produce it. Brian and I have invested literally thousands and thousands of hours of our own lives into developing these products, maintaining them, supporting them, and ensuring that they are the highest quality out there, so sometimes we do take it personally when we see them floating around.

    Unfortunately for everybody any type of DRM is always a constant struggle between the numbers of legitimate customers who should be able to access their material that they purchased at their leisure in the most convenient fashion, and those out there that have to ruin it for the rest of us.

    Hopefully this new steganographic solution will work out better, because from what we’re seeing of it now it’s very unobtrusive to the user, while nearly impossible to defeat. Unless of course you have memorized the exact output that every single “show” command in IOS is supposed to return ;)

  5. it’s a good news for me, since I’m using mac.

  6. One of the first two CCIE sites I opened on my SuSE box, and I have this great news about removing LockLizard. I can now opened these files on Linux again. Thanks IE team. I am not sure if the 2 prints of the document still apply?

  7. Heh nevermind … I should have read the forums first for this question :-)

  8. [...] In other IE related news, IE has decided to nix LockLizard.  LockLizard is PDF security software.  IE started using it with the beta releases of the new Volume I v5 workbook.  In order to open a PDF you needed to have LockLizard installed on your machine (Windows only – no Linux/Mac) and have a license from the publisher.  I used it briefly with the betas and it did make reading the PDFs a little sluggish.  I think that there were issues with needing to renew the license every couple of weeks and printing/number of computers used as well.  LockLizard was implemented to reduce piracy, but the end user experience was bad enough that IE is yanking it: [...]

  9. jim says:

    If it supported the MAC platform I may have been ok.

  10. Ferret999 says:

    I must admit I had a few problems with Locklizard to start with but then your support team sorted them and it has been plain sailing since then. I was not so keen on only being able to install it on two machines and this is good news for Mac and Linux users. So now lets hope your customers are good back to you and do not distribute your stuff illegally.

  11. NTllect says:

    I prefer to see grading script for each lab.

  12. Mahmoud says:

    I’m glad to hear that piracy is limited this way.

    However, I feel sad that I’ll no longer enjoy the freedom of using Adobe reader on Windows/Linux/BSD/..etc. Also I noticed it runs slower on my IBM laptop when compared to standard Adobe readers.

  13. Ciscoguy says:

    Hi Brian and Brian,

    I personally have had no problems with Locklizard but I take it that others have. I’d be upset if by removing Locklizard, the $1000s of dollars worth of material I buy from IE is freely available through Rapidshare and Megaupload and 4shared…

  14. Fu says:

    Thanks. Good choice. That the way to go.

  15. qospf says:


    Thanks a million times. For some reason, everytime I had the locklizard file open, it would just suck the memory from my computer and I’d get all sorts of memory errors.

    Life’s so much easier now :)


  16. Fraser Morehouse says:

    Awesome. I am a currently going after a 2nd CCIE and are using you guys again to help me study. This will make things much better. I really disliked the password thing before.

  17. Henrik Kruse Larsen says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you :-)

  18. Amazing :D It’s too bad more folks don’t know about this site, this covered what I needed today!

  19. Well, The Problem is that there are many forums that do Group Buys.
    People pool money & purchase the stuff in fake names with Paypal/VCC’s.
    There are no track backs :-(

  20. Adrian says:

    Too bad that Cisco TKL also gave up to Lock Lizard. Instead, they are now using Araloc files, an even bigger pain to their customers.


Leave a Reply


CCIE Bloggers