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  • How Does Microsoft Word Password Recovery Work?


    Microsoft Word documents can utilize three passwords:

    • Password to open
    • Password to modify
    • Protect document password

     

    Password to Open

     

    The Password to open requires a user to enter a password to view the document.

     

    When the user sets a Password to open, the entire Microsoft Word document is encrypted with the RC4 stream cipher.

     

    Password to Modify

     

    The Password to modify requires a user to enter a password to make changes to the document.

     

    When a user sets a Password to modify, the password is stored inside the Microsoft Word document. The password can be viewed or changed with a hex editor.

     

    Protect Document Password

     

    The Protect document password requires the user to enter a password to un-protect the document.

     

    When a user sets a Protect document password, the 32-bit password hash is stored in the Microsoft Word document. The password hash can be viewed or changed with a hex editor.

    Applying Passwords in Microsoft Word

     

    To apply a Password to open or a Password to modify to a Microsoft Word document, click,,,.

    Users can select which encryption algorithm they wish to use and what key length they wish to use with that algorithm.

    Encryption algorithms that Microsoft Word supports are:

     

    • Weak Encryption (XOR)
    • Office 97/2000 Compatible
    • RC4, Microsoft Base Cryptographic Provider v1.0
    • RC4, Microsoft Base DSS and Diffie-Hellman Cryptographic Provider
    • RC4, Microsoft DH SChannel Cryptographic Provider
    • RC4, Microsoft Enhanced Cryptographic Provider v1.0
    • RC4, Microsoft Enhanced DSS and Diffie-Hellman Cryptographic Provider
    • RC4, Microsoft Enhanced RSA and AES Cryptographic Provider (Prototype)
    • RC4, Microsoft RSA SChannel Cryptographic Provider
    • RC4, Microsoft Strong Cryptographic Provider

     

    The default is “Office 97/2000 Compatible.” However, even Microsoft states that this is not recommended!

     

    To apply a Protect document password to a Microsoft Word document, click

    Microsoft Word Password Recovery

     

    It is possible simply to edit the Password to modify with a hex editor. It is also possible to edit the hash of the Protect document password.

     

    The Password to open can be attacked with a dictionary attack or a brute force attack.

     

    Several programs with widely varying capabilities are available to help users recover a lost Microsoft Word password:

     

     

    Additional Reading on Microsoft Word Password Recovery

     

     

     

    Purchase these excellent books on cryptology at Amazon.com.

     

     

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    4 comments
    1. Jacy Andrew

      27 July, 2011 at 12:04 pm

      Various software available to recover Word document password. Generally software use brute force attack in order to attain 100 % result

      Reply
    2. XDDXDD

      26 February, 2011 at 10:24 pm

      I forgot my password to my document. Actually, I didn’t. I REMEMBER SPECIFICALLY IT WAS: girlshorseclub. My sister may have hacked into it and done something. She had mad skills on the computer. Which sucks for me….

      Reply
      • memenode

        1 March, 2011 at 12:40 pm

        Looks like you need to fix your relationship with your sister then. 😛 Either that or you need to hack it back. 

        In either case posting your password publicly, even if you think it’s not active anymore, is probably a bad idea..

        Reply
    3. nedved31

      4 August, 2010 at 1:15 pm

      There are a lot of working word documents on my computer now. But some time ago I had only several documents,reason of my doc files had been crashed for virus attack. Luckily for me later I could find a determination of this trouble – word recovery. The software aided me within seconds and ultimately free of charge. What is more without payment… Perhaps the utility will help you with your problem..

      Reply
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