Adobe Genuine Software Integrity Service

What programs does Adobe offer to protect users from non-genuine and counterfeit software?

Under the Adobe Genuine Initiative, Adobe develops programs to ensure customers are protected from non-genuine and counterfeit software. Adobe Genuine initiatives include working with organizations to prevent software piracy, investigating and bringing legal action against resellers of counterfeit software, blocking serial numbers that have been obtained or generated illegally by unauthorized resellers, and supporting technical programs such as validation testing that helps customers confirm they have genuine software.

What is the Adobe Genuine Software Integrity Service?

Part of the Adobe Genuine Initiative, the Adobe Genuine Software Integrity Service is a set of technologies, services, and capabilities that can identify whether an installed Adobe product is genuine or non-genuine. When non-genuine installations are found (via a validation process), the service can inform users that their software is not genuine through a pop-up notification, providing options to resolve the problem. In addition to the pop-up notification, customers may also see the validation process running in their activity monitor or task manager.

When did Adobe start distributing the Adobe Genuine Software Integrity Service?

Adobe started distributing the validation element of the Software Integrity Service in September 2014. In summer 2015, we started notifying Acrobat X customers in the US of the status of their software. In summer 2016, Adobe extended notifications to Creative customers. Starting 2017, we are broadening the notification service to include users of all Adobe products, and to select international markets.

How is the Adobe Genuine Software Integrity Service distributed?

Currently, the service is distributed through product channels.

What products does the Adobe Genuine Software Integrity Service cover?

All Adobe products are covered by the service.

How does the Adobe Genuine Software Integrity Service work?

Validation testing is run periodically by the Adobe Software Integrity Service, which checks for any tampering with Adobe software program files or improper and invalid licenses. If found, Adobe then has the option to communicate to customers via pop-up or in product notifications, or other means.

What is the AdobeGCClient.exe I see running in my Activity Monitor/Task Manager?

The AdobeGCClient.exe is a process that runs as part of the Adobe Software Integrity Service validation testing. The process checks for any tampering with Adobe software program files or improper or invalid licenses.

What if I keep working and ignore the message indicating I have non genuine software?

The notification will continue to pop up until you take action to resolve the issue. If you continue to take no action, software functionality may be restricted until the non-genuine software issue is resolved.

General piracy questions

How do well-intentioned people wind up with non-genuine or counterfeit Adobe software?

It is easy to purchase non-genuine or counterfeit software. For example, third-party online marketplaces often carry non-genuine or counterfeit software. Any time a customer purchases outside approved channels (directly from Adobe or an Adobe Authorized Gold or Platinum reseller), it is likely that the software is not genuine.

What are the risks of using Adobe software that is non-genuine or counterfeit?

Using non-genuine or counterfeit software poses a risk for individuals and organizations. Non-genuine or counterfeit software has frequently been modified. By altering the software, hackers can introduce malicious code. Specifically, risks can be detailed as follows:

  • Increased risk of exposure to viruses or spyware that can destroy or compromise data.
  • Increased chance that the software will not function correctly, or will fail completely.
  • Limited access to customer support, upgrades, technical documentation, and so on.

Doesn’t my anti-virus software protect me from the risks of non-genuine or counterfeit software?

In most cases, typical anti-virus and security software will not detect the forms of malware commonly found in counterfeit or non-genuine software. Anti-virus software is a necessity today, but it is not impenetrable.

Isn’t a copy just as good as the original?

Software purchased from unauthorized resellers and/or from internet marketplaces has frequently been modified. By altering the software, hackers can introduce vulnerabilities and malicious code which impacts the security of the software and customer experience. Many well-intentioned customers have been tricked into buying non-genuine or counterfeit software. Adobe wants to protect customers by reducing this risk and providing options for those already affected.

Can I rent a piece of software from a store?

No. The Terms of Use prohibit renting, leasing, selling, sub-licensing, or assigning rights in the software.

Can I copy my friends’ Adobe software?

No. Software is protected by federal copyright law, which indicates you can't make additional copies of software without the permission of the software publisher.

How can I protect myself against software piracy of Adobe products?

Buying software directly from Adobe.com or via an Adobe Partner will ensure that you receive Adobe Genuine software.

What is software piracy?

Per the Business Software Alliance:

  • Software piracy is the unauthorized copying or distribution of copyrighted software, including downloading, sharing, selling, or installing multiple copies of licensed software.
  • Software piracy also includes license infringement – installing a piece of software more times than the license permits – and sharing software license keys codes, uploading software codes to websites so others can download and use it, sharing software license codes or activation keys, as well as user IDs and passwords for web-based software applications. 

Software piracy exposes businesses and consumers to security threats including malware such as spyware and viruses, and leads to decreased efficiencies in organizations.

What is Adobe Genuine software?

Adobe Genuine software is genuine, legally licensed software purchased directly from Adobe or an authorized reseller. Adobe Genuine software will work per the product documentation and the Terms of Use, and is free from the vulnerabilities that may be found in non-genuine or counterfeit software.

What are the benefits of buying Adobe Genuine software?

Only Adobe Genuine software provides guaranteed access to the latest updates, features, and functionality enabling customers and organizations to maintain optimal productivity with less chance of performance issues. Additionally, only Adobe Genuine software is warranted and supported by Adobe. By buying Adobe Genuine software, customers are assured of:

  • Peace of Mind: Using Adobe Genuine software enables you to work on critical business activities without interruption,  protecting your customers, your organization, and your professional reputation
  • Safety: Adobe Genuine software protects you and your organization from the risks associated with counterfeit software such as spyware and viruses. Adobe Genuine software is reliable and secure. 
  • Value: Buying Adobe Genuine software directly from Adobe or an authorized reseller means that you get what you pay for, with access to the latest features and benefits, future product upgrades and technical support.

What’s the difference between counterfeit and non-genuine software?

The terms “counterfeit” and “non-genuine” software are often used interchangeably. Counterfeit software is software that has been illegally copied or hacked before being sold. Counterfeit software frequently positions itself as genuine software, and copies are often very sophisticated. Non-genuine software is often used in a broader sense to describe software that is not properly licensed.

How does Adobe help reduce piracy?

What programs does Adobe offer to protect users from non-genuine and counterfeit software?

Under the Adobe Genuine Initiative, Adobe develops programs to ensure customers are protected from non-genuine and counterfeit software. Adobe Genuine initiatives include working with organizations to prevent software piracy, investigating and bringing legal action against resellers of counterfeit software, blocking serial numbers that have been obtained or generated illegally by unauthorized resellers, and supporting technical programs such as validation testing that helps customers confirm they have genuine software.

What’s the difference between activation and registration?

All users need to activate their software within a certain number of days for it to function as intended. Registration of your software with Adobe is entirely optional. It is important to note that activation and registration do not guarantee that you are using genuine software.

If I believe that I have non-genuine or counterfeit software, what can I do?

If you have received a notification from Adobe indicating that your software is not genuine, you can click the link provided in the notification to learn more, including the option to purchase Adobe Genuine software at a reduced price or call Customer Support for more information. If you believe that you have other or additional non-genuine or counterfeit software, you have several options:

If I buy a genuine license, can I keep using the copy I already have?

Adobe recommends removing the non-genuine software as it may pose a risk to the security of your machine.

If I replace my software with Adobe Genuine software, does that mean I should reformat my hard disk?

After Adobe Genuine software has been installed, Adobe recommends reimaging the hard disk to ensure that all traces of the non-genuine software are eliminated.

How can I report a reseller who has sold me non-genuine or counterfeit software?

Visit the www.adobe.com/genuine page, and follow the appropriate link and instructions.

About the Adobe Genuine Software Integrity Service

What is the Adobe Genuine Software Integrity Service?

Part of the Adobe Genuine Initiative, the Software Integrity Service is a set of technologies, services, and capabilities that can identify whether an installed Adobe product is genuine or non-genuine. When non-genuine installations are found (via a validation process), the service can inform users that their software is not genuine through a pop-up notification, and provides options to resolve the problem. In addition to the pop-up notification, customers may also see the validation process in their activity monitor or task manager.

When did Adobe start distributing the Software Integrity Service?

Adobe started distributing the validation element of the Software Integrity Service in September 2014. In summer 2015, we started notifying Adobe Acrobat X customers in the United States of the status of their software. In summer 2016, Adobe extended notifications to Creative customers. Starting 2017, we are broadening the notification service to include users of all Adobe products, and to select international markets.

How is the Software Integrity Service distributed?

Currently, the service is distributed through product update channels.

What products does the Adobe Genuine Software Integrity Service cover?

All Adobe products are covered by the service.

How does the Adobe Genuine Software Integrity Service work?

Validation testing is run periodically by the Adobe Software Integrity Service, which checks for any tampering with Adobe software program files or improper and invalid licenses. If found, Adobe then has the option to communicate to customers via pop-up or in product notifications, or other means.

What is the AdobeGCClient.exe I see running in my Activity Monitor/Task Manager?

The AdobeGCClient.exe is a process that runs as part of the Adobe Software Integrity Service validation testing. The process checks for any tampering with Adobe Software program files or improper or invalid licenses.

How can Adobe tell that my software is not genuine?

Adobe can verify if software is genuine by examining its serial number and looking for indications of tampered or modified software. Software that is using an illegitimate serial number (a serial number that was generated by third-party software, and never issued by Adobe) and/or has one or more of several known software hacks, is not genuine.

If I don’t have Adobe Genuine software, how did I get a notification?

Users of Adobe’s software code may still receive updates even if the software is not genuine.

If my software is not genuine, how come I can still download product updates?

Users of Adobe’s software code may still receive updates even if the software is not genuine.

Why is Adobe doing this now?

Adobe’s goal has always been to help customers avoid the risks associated with non-genuine or counterfeit software. We have been working on this service for a while, taking our time to ensure it is delivered to customers in an easy to understand and actionable way.

About the Software Integrity Service notifications

I just received a notification that my Acrobat software is not genuine, but I have been using it for a while. Why is this happening now?

This is a newer service, designed to inform and protect our customers from the risks of non-genuine and counterfeit software.

Is it possible the message is incorrect? I’m sure I have genuine software.

It’s unfortunately all too easy to purchase non-genuine or counterfeit software. If you have received this notification, it is because your software failed the validation check and is not genuine.

What if I keep working and ignore the message indicating I have non genuine software?

The notification will continue to pop up until you take action to resolve the issue. If you continue to take no action, software functionality may be restricted until the non-genuine software issue is resolved.

Will I get in trouble?

Adobe is providing this notification to inform you that you do not have Adobe Genuine software, and to offer you options on how to purchase Adobe Genuine software. If you choose to ignore notifications, some application/software functionality may be restricted until the non-genuine software issue is resolved.

Understanding Adobe Genuine test results

Where can I find my Adobe Genuine test results?

At this time the software validation test results are only available to users who have received a notification from Adobe indicating that they are using software that is not genuine. If you have received a notification, you will be able to see your software validation test results by clicking ‘more info’ on the notification.

What do the Licensing Statuses mean for the Adobe Genuine test results I saw for my machine?

The ‘Licensing Status’ column is designed to give you more information about the serial number(s) for the software that you are using.

  • ‘Pass’ indicates that the serial number has passed the most recent validation test. Our test currently checks that basic genuine software conditions are met. In the future, Adobe may add additional checks to ensure that serial numbers and software licenses are being used appropriately. Because of this, you might find in the future that results change from PASS to FAIL if the serial number fails these additional checks.
  • 'Fail’ indicates that this software has failed validation. This is typically seen in two instances: 1) The serial number was not issued by Adobe, or 2) the serial number is known to be used in stolen or counterfeit software, and is therefore compromised. Compromised software may leave customers open to the associated risks of malware and bugs.
  • ‘Fail - Subscription’ indicates that this is a subscription version of the software that is improperly licensed.
  • ‘Fail - Trial Use Only’ indicates this software was meant for trial use only, and is beyond its trial period.  

My software validation test results indicate I have tampered software. What does this mean?

As part of the validation process, Adobe checks for tampered software in addition to the serial number check. Tampered software can be found even if the serial number is valid. Tampered software indicates that the code has been modified or 'hacked'. This could include changes that have been made to the actual product itself, for example, Photoshop or its associated product or operating system files. Both instances may affect how the software runs. Tampered software may leave customers open to the associated risks of malware and bugs.

If my Licensing Status says “Pass” but there is a check mark in the “Tampered Software” column, is the software genuine?

The software is not genuine. This combination indicates that the software has been modified, or ‘hacked’. This is done by software counterfeiters who tamper with Adobe software to bypass security checks or, in some cases, include malware. Counterfeiters may have combined the tampered software with a genuine serial number issued by Adobe. Tampered software may affect how the software runs and leave customers open to the associated risks of malware and bugs.

Why do I continue to see earlier versions of Adobe applications on my machine after I have ‘removed’ these applications?

There are two possible reasons that this may be occurring as detailed below. Adobe recommends taking BOTH actions below to ensure applications have been fully removed:

  • The program may not have been removed properly. Use the Adobe Uninstaller to ensure that the program has been fully removed.
  • The uninstallation process itself may have been corrupted. Use the Creative Cloud Cleaner Tool and/or Acrobat Cleaner Tool to fix this issue.

About the Adobe Genuine Software Integrity Service — What data is collected/sent?

What information does the Software Integrity Service collect and send to Adobe?

The Software Integrity Service can check across different versions of Adobe software and verify the integrity of the software and validity of the licenses.

More information is available at http://www.adobe.com/privacy/policy.html.

How is this data used?

Adobe uses the data collected to determine if the software being used is genuine.

How does Adobe protect this data?

For more information on how Adobe protects this data, refer to the Adobe Privacy Policy.

Is the data encrypted?

Yes. The Adobe Genuine Software Integrity Service uses Asymmetric Encryption including AES and RSA.

Is there any personally identifiable information (PII) collected?

No personally identifiable information is collected. For more information refer to the Adobe Privacy Policy.

Invalid and Revoked Serial Numbers

What are invalid or revoked serial numbers?

Invalid and revoked serial numbers are serial numbers that have been blocked by Adobe because they have been obtained or generated illegally by unauthorized resellers. When Adobe discovers this fraudulent behavior, these keys are deactivated to prevent further abuse. Customers may only realize that the serial numbers have been blocked when they attempt to install or re-install the software.

Why did my serial number or software work for installation before and not now?

Software, even non-genuine software, can work normally until Adobe identifies, blocks or deactivates the fraudulent serial number as part of a legal action taken against the seller. Once the serial number is blocked, future attempts to install or reinstall will fail.

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