WinZip Password Protection


B

BobS

I know this will get me some flack - but gotta try anyway. I have archived
a lot of business related files to CD's thinking most would have little
value in the future and were not zipped and password protected. Those that
do have some business value were zipped up and password protected using
version 8.1, I believe, and archived to a CD.

Now that I would like to access some of those password protected files, I
can't. I can get the zipped files off the CD okay and try to open them but
the program says wrong password. I do use a lot of passwords and I have
gone through my entire list and then some and still nada. Tried all sorts
of variations, caps, no caps, mix, etc.

I have since upgraded to WinZip 9 (latest rev) on this computer but still
have WinZip 8 on another here in the office and it makes no difference. So
either I've forgotten the password or all these files are corrupt but I
don't get any error messages like you usually do when WinZip has a corrupted
file. Fortunately most of the data is available on paper and although it
will be a long tedious job to recreate some of those spreadsheets, it looks
like that may be the penance I have to pay.

If on the other hand, these are corrupt in some manner, is there any
routines available (freeware/shareware/commercial) that can be used to
extract the files or at least verify the password somehow? If a password
crack program were available then I guess WinZip wouldn't be of much value
to anyone but a program to verify the contents would at least be beneficial
so I would know if it's worth the time to keep trying the password list.

Any suggestions?

Thanks,

Bob
 
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O

old jon

BobS said:
I know this will get me some flack - but gotta try anyway. I have archived
a lot of business related files to CD's thinking most would have little
value in the future and were not zipped and password protected. Those that
do have some business value were zipped up and password protected using
version 8.1, I believe, and archived to a CD.

Now that I would like to access some of those password protected files, I
can't. I can get the zipped files off the CD okay and try to open them but
the program says wrong password. I do use a lot of passwords and I have
gone through my entire list and then some and still nada. Tried all sorts
of variations, caps, no caps, mix, etc.

I have since upgraded to WinZip 9 (latest rev) on this computer but still
have WinZip 8 on another here in the office and it makes no difference.
So either I've forgotten the password or all these files are corrupt but I
don't get any error messages like you usually do when WinZip has a
corrupted file. Fortunately most of the data is available on paper and
although it will be a long tedious job to recreate some of those
spreadsheets, it looks like that may be the penance I have to pay.

If on the other hand, these are corrupt in some manner, is there any
routines available (freeware/shareware/commercial) that can be used to
extract the files or at least verify the password somehow? If a password
crack program were available then I guess WinZip wouldn't be of much value
to anyone but a program to verify the contents would at least be
beneficial so I would know if it's worth the time to keep trying the
password list.

Any suggestions?

Thanks,

Bob
I`m afraid it`s the curse of lots of passwords, and dead brain cells Bob.
Happens to me regularly. Mind you I`m 74. <g>.
bw..OJ
 
A

andrew at portablefreeware dot com

Hi,

You can try some of the freeware ZIP password recovery proggies:

Check them out here: http://www.portablefreeware.com/?c=10&sc=27

Try ZIP Password Finder and PicoZip Recovery Tool. If you are sure, you can
limit the length of the password to reduce computation time dramatically.

Regards.
 
B

BobS

Andrew,

Thanks and I will give those a try. I typically use a long-standing
password that is "reasonably" secure and one that I will not forget (yeah
right...;-) and it's the one password I would use for something being
archived. The wife would also need access to these files so I'm 99.999%
positive of the password I would have used.

Obviously there is something wrong with my logic....still haven't been able
to open the files and neither has the wife. Time to get nasty and try your
recommendations. If any work, I'll post it here - otherwise I'll just slink
off to the corner for being such a knot-head on this one.

Thanks,

Bob
 
B

BobS

PicoZip did it! Started out using 7 characters min and 8 characters max.
It came up with a guestimate of the time being something like 735 years.
Yikes... Knowing that I would have used a particular password, I entered
everything for that + 1 added character just in case. Was just getting
ready to leave the office and the program came up and said the password was
.........

Okay, the first 8 characters were exactly what I thought I had entered
but..... I added a numeral at the end which is what I forgot about (called a
brain-fart) and never did think of using it since it made absolutely no
sense. And when you have senior moments, you better make sure that things
like passwords make sense.

The files are all (all I've tested so far) opening with that password. I
thank you and I damn well owe you a beer or two or three.... for the
suggestion.

Just for those wondering, even though these files were zipped using an
earlier version of WinZip, I opened them with ver 9.1 - no problems.
Thankfully I used the default encrytion method which PicoZip could bust. If
it's AES encrytion, this won't work according to the docs.

Now.... this is a relatively old program (2001-2002 vintage), and it runs
fine on WinXP Pro. The Library file they had to offer as a download is
corrupted so I'll try that again some other time. This worked for what I
needed but makes you wonder just how good some of the hack programs can be.
If I knew nothing about the password length or what the password may consist
of, it obviously would take a lot of time to break the password.

As I've been writting this, I've been testing it again using different
parameters. Certainly have changed the time estimate from 735 years to 1099
years now. Gonna be a long night..........;-)

Again, thanks for the suggestion and the link.

Bob
 
S

socrtwo

BobS said:
If on the other hand, these are corrupt in some manner, is there any
routines available (freeware/shareware/commercial) that can be used to
extract the files or at least verify the password somehow? If a password
crack program were available then I guess WinZip wouldn't be of much value
to anyone but a program to verify the contents would at least be beneficial
so I would know if it's worth the time to keep trying the password list.

Apparently Izarc, Filzip, and BigSpeed Zipper all have zip file repair
utilities that will repair or say that it repairs password protected
zip files without asking for the password (I know I tried).

Also there is a third free zip password program that is extemely fast,
though it requires free registration to get beyond 4 characters, and it
also appears to be in beta and requires restarting of the program for
each new zip file even though you can load a second one...the results
were incorrect for me after the first file. The program is called
Turbo Zip Cracker and it's here: http://www.fdrlab.com/files/tzc.zip.

And there's even 2 more open source crackers: PKCrak -
http://www.unix-ag.uni-kl.de/~conrad/krypto/pkcrack.html and fcrackzip
-http://www.goof.com/pcg/marc/fcrackzip.html. The latter may require
cygwin files if you know what that means.

Paul Pruitt
www.s2services.com - extensive list of data recovery freeware
 
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B

BobS

Paul,

Thanks for taking the time to respond. The PicoZip program, using the brute
force method, was able to come up with the password. I gave it enough info
that it didn't have to go thru every permutation in the universe to discover
my forgotten password. As a test (curious is all) I zipped a file and gave
it a simple password. The program was still running this morning - so it
would take awhile trying to guess a password.

I am going to look at some of those programs you mentioned though since it
appears that they might be handy, especially the repair utilities.
Appreciate your time and thanks for the help.

Bob
 
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M

Mike Bourke

This makes it easy to see why passwords should never be or include something
like spouse's name, pet's name, etc, that someone could make a reasonable
guess at from studying you..... it makes breaking the password a heck of a
lot easier. There's a lesson - or a timely reminder - there for all of us.

Mike Bourke
 

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