Security: Encryption: Encryption crackers
Encryption algorithms in most popular programs (Word, Excel, Wordperfect,
PK-ZIP, and so on) are usually very weak, even though the manual often
claims that you will never be able to get at the document without the
You should not rely on any program for which the
algorithm is not publicly available. Many of the popular ciphers are very
insecure, and rely on the fact that the details of the cipher are unknown,
which can have devastating effects if someone discovers the trick.
PGP is a positive
Below you will find links to cracking programs for the most popular commercial
or shareware programs. Note that cracking
software may be illegal depending on your jurisdiction.
I ignore all e-mail regarding requests for crackers for programs
which are not in the list below. Please check the
FTP archives listed below instead.
Disclaimer: The programs listed in this document have not been
tested by me, and I cannot guarantee that they will work on your system
without problems. Use at your own risk!
- PK-ZIP, the most popular compression utility for the
PC. Three programs are available to recover the key used to encrypt
ZIP archives: PKZip Cracker,
and Fast Zipcrack.
A more general
site dealing with PKZIP is also available.
- Microsoft Word also has a built-in encryption feature.
A cracker is available.
- Wordperfect's encryption scheme isn't very secure either. There are two
crackers (one for version 4.2 and
one for later versions).
- Unix password cracking programs are available from
Also see the archive at my
Security: Encryption: Pretty Good Privacy
- PGP is a file encryption program which is generally considered unbreakable.
It is used extensively on the Internet, available for almost every platform
and is required for anonymous remailers. It
can also create digital signatures, which makes it easy to detect forgeries.
Security: Encryption: Disk encryption
While a program such as PGP is good to
encrypt e-mail or individual files, it is less useful to protect the
contents of your entire hard disk. Even if you never forget to re-encrypt
and wipe every file after use, editors and
other programs may leave temporary files behind. If you encrypt the
whole hard disk at once (similar to how Stacker or DriveSpace compress
it), you don't have to worry about that anymore.
Please note that the FTP archive for these programs is mirrored on many sites. I have
provided links to ftp.funet.fi:/pub/crypt/analysis.
An other good site is ftp.ox.ac.uk:/pub/crypto/cryptanalysis.
There are also crackers for other programs there.
Last modified: 26 May 1997
Author: Arnoud "Galactus" Engelfriet
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