Password hacking programs are not evil, it’s how they are used that can be bad. The point of this page is not to encourage bad behavior, but to help those that have forgotten their password by offering a list of password recovery programs that are free and available for download.
In my situation, we had an employee who was entrusted with key information and although that information was backed up nightly, we didn’t discover that the files had passwords on them until the employee was let go; all the information was stored in Microsoft Word and Excel documents and all had passwords.
We contacted Microsoft and they told us there was no way to recover the passwords. Lucky, we didn’t give up and found a number of password hacking programs that claimed to do the job. We ended up using a program that took three days (not bad considering); luckily the same password was used for everything and we were able to access the needed information!
Another example is when a network administrator needs to log into a user’s account as that user with that user’s credentials. The only way we knew of was to reset the user’s password, but that would result in chaos in the morning; we searched and found a program that listed all the users and associated passwords in less than an hour (most in less than 10 minutes – I know, doesn’t say much for the users password complexity – that changed later : )
These hacking programs were legally used to find passwords that helped prevent loss of valuable data and reduce work load.
Free to try and by far one of the best password hackers for Windows Networks, especially for password risk status, scheduled scans and importing and hacking unix password files. This is for the network, not for Word, Excel and similar programs – it’s more for the administrator.
Ophcrack is a lot like Lophtcrack and other password hacking programs, but completely free and comes as an ISO file so that you can burn a bootable CD. You then boot your Windows computer from that CD and you’ll be running Ophcrack which will start looking for system passwords. This is open source software so that you can made modifications and works wonders when faced with a PC or Laptop that you need the password to.
Not free, but of all the programs we tested, this one was the only one that successfully obtained the Word passwords we needed. Recovers Word 97 to Word 2007 versions.