Utility Breaks PDF Passwords
Published: June 27, 2006
by Alex Woodie
Have you ever locked a PDF document with a password to protect its contents, and then forgotten or lost the password, rendering you and the file completely useless? You won't have to feel like the office heal anymore now that the Russian code-breakers at Elcomsoft have added PDF support to its Distributed Password Recovery offering.
Distributed Password Recovery is a brute-force password recovery solution that harnesses a distributed architecture to apply as much computing power as possible to guessing passwords. The company, which is based in Moscow, Russia, guarantees that it can break passwords encrypted with 40-bit keys. "It is with files that are protected with 128-bit encryption that the program shows its unique strength," the company boasts in a press release.
In the past, Elcomsoft has focused on recovering passwords used to protect Office documents. With the Distributed Password Recovery version 1.3, the company added support for recovering two types of PDF passwords, including the file's user password, which is required to open and view a password-protected PDF file, and the file's owner or master password, which is needed to modify the permissions that allow users to print a file, copy its contents to the clipboard, edit it, or perform similar operations, the company says.
Future releases of the product will support ZIP and RAR archives, Intuit Quicken files, and PasswordSafe containers, according to the company, whose work in password recovery has earned it Gold Certified Partner status with Microsoft.
Distributed Password Recovery runs on Windows, and is available in English, Russian, German, and Japanese. Prices begin at $599 for networks with up to 20 clients. For more information, check out www.elcomsoft.com.