The Fake NMFA Audit for Computer Geeks
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We received an e-mail from a man who enjoys sleuthing with computers. He dug into the metadata of the fake New Mexico Finance Authority audit. Sans his identity, we share what he unearthed. Maybe another reader can advance his work another step:
Saw your recent articles about the NMFA fake audit and thought I would
pass along some technical information about the audit PDF file which
is found on the NMFA web site. This concerns what is called “metadata”
within the PDF file. This data was not entered by the user, but was
entered by whatever program was used to create the PDF file. This
metadata may be useful especially to people who are involved in
computer file forensics.
The attached screenshot shows the raw EXIF data that is in the PDF
file. The key parts here are the PDF Create Date of 3/12/2012 2:56:32
AM and the XMP Toolkit version which starts with Adobe XMP Core 5.2.
This toolkit information pertains to a system level library which the
PDF generation program uses and seems to show the name of this
library, its version number, build number and build date. Whoever
scanned this audit document has this library installed on their
For additional information about metadata and this XMP library see the
following, search for “XMP”;
If this PDF metadata seems useful to you, recommend you talk to
someone with expertise in this area first. The document id data may be
something worth investigating.
This EXIF data was viewed using the GraphicsConverter program which
provides access to graphic file metadata. The other tabs in the
Information window did not contain anything. Other programs provide
access to PDF metadata, this graphics program was handy for me to use.
Ignore the “ExifToll by Phil Harvey” at the top of the Information
window. This is just the name of the metadata extraction program and
its author, this has nothing do with the audit document itself. So
please don’t assume “Phil Harvey” was involved in the audit creation.