Password Recovery using Brute Force

Many of well known applications such as Word and Excel from Microsoft or WinZip use strong encryption that makes password recovery almost impossible. We call this "good security" and feel happy unless our data is safe and we are the only who have access to it. Still even strongest security can be passed.

What would you do trying to find old forgotten password? I guess you would try all passwords you have used previously hoping to guess. Almost the same trial and error method used by various password recovery programs calls Brute Force. Brute force applications proceed through all possible combinations of characters from predefined character set in sequence. It can take months and even years to recover long password. But it works. And it works with almost any encryption.

Such tools as Zip Key, Office Key and Acrobat Key use Brute force to recover forgotten password. They also offers few ways of boosting password recovery speed. With Dictionary attack you can recover very long password if only this or close to this password exists in the dictionary file. Dictionary attack tries to guess password checking common words or personal information such as birthdates or family names. Such options as mutations and mistypes helps to configure Dictionary attack for optimal performance choosing between password complexity and search time. Xieve Optimization is another way to decrease search time. It just skips nonsense combinations of characters and checks only "looking like English words" passwords.

No one can give you 100% guarantee that Brute force will recover the password. But sometimes this is the only way and the last hope to recover your data. On the other hand if you don't want somebody to guess your password try using long (10-12 characters) hard-to-guess random generated passwords. But don't forget that such passwords are also hard-to-remember.


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