The Office Letter
Blink Section - Product Reviews
From Volume 6, Number 1
(June 26, 2006)
Review: Rixler Software Helps You Get Past Passwords
Rixler Software (http://www.rixler.com) specializes in making it possible to get into password-protected files from Office applications. Rixler’s tools are smart, simple, and incredibly fast.
Word Password Recovery Master (WPRM) ($19.95 for one license, bulk license discounts available) works on Word files in an interesting and unique way. Unlike other programs that use algorithms, guesses, and brute force to determine a file’s password, WPRM simply breaks gets past the password so you can work with the file. Thus, if you have to re-save the file with the original password, you’re out of luck. However, for the vast majority of work I do -- where I have forgotten the original password and just need to open the file -- the program works well. Best of all, it’s incredibly fast. It was able to show me the contents of a file with a 20-character password in under 30 seconds. In fact, the length of the password has no impact on its password-breaking speed.
WPRM doesn’t work like many of its competitors -- nothing much runs on your system. Instead, you specify the file you want to open, and the utility sends your file to Rixler’s servers, where the heavy lifting (password-breaking) is actually performed. Furthermore, the program doesn’t tell you what the password was -- it simply opens the file for you.
We must also mention that WPRM only works for files that were originally protected by the “standard” encryption setting (Tools/Options; Security tab; File encryption options for this document; Advanced button, “Word 97/2000 Compatible” option only).
With the help of TOL reader Chuck Cronan, we also tested the Access version (also $29.95 for a personal license), which works differently from the Word version. Dr. Cronan reports that this version does not operate by random generation, but rather finds the password in the registry or file itself, and presents the password to you. His overall impression: “Brilliant.”
Dr. Cronan started with a database of medical information (his own). Through time, the dates of certain items were incorrect and always displayed out of order. The files are in the *.MDB extension for Access, but they were protected by a password.
An appeal to the software vendor that had originally stored the data resulted in their refusal to provide the password due to "proprietary" format of the data file.
Access Password Recovery Master to the rescue! It was an incredibly simple operation to install and use. The vendor says the program first looks for the files in the registry. If not found there, you simply choose File/Open File in the menu bar, and instantly the password appears.
I couldn't be happier. The passwords work fine allowing access (no pun intended) to Access. Now I just have to relearn how to make the date changes in my file.
For more information about Rixler’s suite of products, visit http://www.rixler.com.
-- James E. Powell
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