Advanced Archive Password Recovery

Advanced Archive Password Recovery

I started the search for a zip password recovery program after I found a curious little zip file, password protected, that had some videos in it. What those videos are of I can not certain but they better be good after all the trouble I’ve gone through to get them now. I found some free (?), dated tools for password cracking (recovery) but that wasn’t going to work on this file, apparently it was encrypted using the best method possible for WinZip®. I had also tried an older version of Advanced Archive Password Recovery (ARCHPR), this was created back when it was called Advanced Zip Password Recovery. A number of things were missing from that, namely support for enhanced AES encryption which I must have used to protect this file. At only $99 for most recent ARCHPR Professional, which supports enhanced AES encryption and after reading a lot of positive reviews I gave it a shot.

The program itself seems rather light weight. No bulky or graphically exaggerated UI, just the checkboxes, drop-down menus and little descriptors necessary to do every type of “attack” available to recover your password. The amount of options were a little overwhelming at first but they are all well organized (and necessary) in small sections on about 6 or 7 tabs just below where you select your archive file to be worked on. I tried all the shorter recovery options first, like the dictionary attack, but I unfortunately wouldn’t have been so silly to have used a password found in the dictionary :(. Right now my 2 year old gaming rig is pumping through about 3,330 passwords per second and it’ll be doing that for a while. If I knew certain details like the length and maybe the first letter or two it wouldn’t take nearly a week to make a complete pass of 6 alphanumeric characters, which by the way doesn’t include uppercase letters either!

After realizing that I may be working on the password to this file well into the new year, I thought it would be really swell if there was a distributed way to go about this (SETI@Home anyone?).  Such an application would have saved me more times than I can remember whether it be in a secure, local network environment or a type of peer to peer network created just for people looking to recover lost file passwords. I have the habit of picking different passwords for everything and the reluctance to write those passwords down in the case they fall into Dr. Evil’s hands or one of his minions. Since I have a few systems at home, some servers that are on 24/7, it would be wonderful to put their idle CPU time into recovering a password for me.  Elcomsoft, the company that created ARCHPR, has another product called Distributed Password Recovery which does just that but it appears to support every file type except common archives like RAR, ZIP, ACE and ARJ … one can dream or continue hunting I suppose.  Well… only 2 trillion more combinations to try.