Recover Passwords Using the Power of Multiple Computers
by HNS Staff - Friday, 17 February 2006.
Elcomsoft Distributed Password Recovery offers administrators a comprehensive solution for recovering passwords to MS-Office documents when employees forget their passwords, or when they deliberately add passwords to documents in an effort to sabotage their companies.



Before Distributed Password Recovery, the most effective way to recover a lost password was to put the locked file on the fastest machine in the company, and use brute force to attack the password. Distributed Password Recovery lets you coordinate all of the unused computing power of every computer on your LAN or WAN, and use distributed processing to restore the lost password.

Distributed Password Recovery installs "Agents" onto as many computers on the network as the user desires. Each of these Agents uses brute force to try to recover the lost password. The program ensures that these Agents work together, and combine their computing power to find the lost password. The more computing power available, the faster the recovery speed.

Another module of the program, the Console, is designed to manage the agents. This solution is best for big enterprisers with thousands of clients when employees leave without un-protecting their mission-critical documents.

According to Elcomsoft, the program restores passwords for Word and Excel documents encrypted with 40 bit keys (Office 97/2000 compatible) as well as more recent documents (Office XP/2003) encrypted with CSP. Office 97/2000 documents can be also decrypted by recovery of encryption keys instead of password, and that type of attack gives a guaranteed result regardless of password length and complexity.

Distributed Password Recovery can be easily installed in enterprises networks with thousands of computers and needs little traffic. The agents work in the background without harming other programs. That is, they use the CPU only when it is in its idle state. An administrator can get a report about the work that is done. When a password is restored or a document is decrypted, the program informs the administrator by e-mail, and starts processing the next task. Using the Console, an administrator can also keep statistics.

The software has a plug-in architecture and can be easily extended to support more document formats and types of encryption. Future releases will support Adobe Acrobat PDF files, ZIP and RAR archives, PGP encryption keys, and more.

Elcomsoft Distributed Password Recovery v. 1.0 runs under Windows NT4/2000/XP/2003 and requires 4 MB of hard disk space on the server and 2 MB on every client. Prices begin at $599(US) for networks with up to 20 clients/agents.

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