Nowadays, we tend to surround ourselves with gadgets of all sorts and have various types of access ways to each of them. Just about any of these devices come with a series of security or anti-theft features. Just about everything in our day to day activity requires a login and a password in order to gain access. For instance, to gain access to your own phone, you either have to insert a password known as PIN, or draw a figure (for Android phones) and such. There are a series of apps out there that allow us to install various software that can completely lockdown the phone until it is provided a password.
Computer and passwords
In the computer world, things tend to get even more complicated since here you have to deal with multiple passwords. You have your administrator or user password to get into your computer. I’m guessing that, since you have an internet connection, you’ve also got several internet accounts and IDs where you need to login to. Once again, another set of passwords to remember. But, what if, by some accident you forget one of them? These things happen since we have to remember so many things on a daily basis. For those of us who work in an unsecure environment and are forced to change our administrative passwords often, it is only normal to forget one of the passwords by mistake. There are some situations where the password you forget happens to be administrator password to Windows. What happens then? You will naturally, try to recover it. For that purpose, there are several tools on the market that have the capacity to recover lost passwords for various Windows users.
For instance the Ophcrack Windows Password cracker is probably one of the best on the market. Basically even the most inexperienced of users with the basic Windows knowledge can use the program in order to crack the password. You can get the program running in minutes and it can display all the passwords you’ve created for your account. It truly is that simple to handle.
Ups and downs
Let’s check out some ups and downs of Ophcrack shall we?
First of all one of the cool thing is that the software is free and available for download. The passwords can be automatically recovered using LiveCD. This means that you can have your password back immediately. You need absolutely no other software to install in order to get your passwords. You don’t even need another password or any kind of identification in order to get your passwords, and best of all, you can use Ophcrack to get passwords for Windows 7 all versions, Windows Vista and Windows XP running on both 32 and 64 bit versions.
But, exactly like every other program in this world, it has a few mishaps. For instance, several antivirus programs will identify Ohpcrack as a Trojan and this might scare some people off, when, in fact there is nothing wrong with the software. Another thing that seems to be bothersome for a couple of people is the fact that the image containing the installation measures 496 MB for Windows 7 or Vista and 415 for XP. We’re talking about the LiveCD ISO image that needs to be burned to a CD before you can actually use it. And what we consider to be its biggest flaw is the fact that Ophcrack cannot target passwords that are bigger than 14 characters.
Ophcrack is able to recover 99% of the passwords embedded for Windows 7, Vista and XP. Talking about the passwords related to XP, those can be cracked in a matter of seconds. As long as the password does not exceed 14 characters, it will be cracked no matter whether the password consisted in letters, capital letters, numbers and such. The tools embedded within the Ophcrack LiveCD allow you to recover your password automatically and without using any kind of software. This makes it a highly secure and safe alternative comparatively to other software that can be installed and may do more than crack the password for you… meaning that they might crack through your protection as well, leaving you completely exposed.
We can honestly say that Ophcrack must be one of the most secure password recovery programs we’ve had the pleasure of working with. It has reached version v3.3.1 and is the best. It comes with state of the art recovering tool making it part of another league. The fact that it recovers password automatically and with great speed for that matter should definitely be an incentive for anyone that has to memorize tons of passwords every day.
Bellow we are going to present a little how to guide for the Ophcrack and see exactly how the whole thing works. Worried that you’ve never had to recover your password and this is the first time? Don’t worry about a thing. First of all you will need to head on to their website and take a look around. Once you’ve accessed their website, simply head for the Download Ophcrack LiveCD button. The next step will be choosing the XP or Vista/7 link and you will be taken to the correct download page. Considering that the file is rather large, you will have to wait a bit for the program to download.
Installation and Usage
Are you familiar with an ISO file? If not don’t worry, an ISO file can be looked at as a copy of the entire CD on the hard drive. You might think “big deal, I can copy the contents of the CD”. Well, that’s where you’re wrong I’m afraid. Most types of CDs or DVDs have a special protection method, that may allow you to copy the contents of the CD or DVD on the hard drive, but you will not be able to actually install something or run something from what you’ve copied from the DVD on the hard drive. That is where ISO files come in. They make an exact “image” of the CD / DVD and save it on the hard drive. Then, with programs such as Daemon Tools or Power ISO you can “load” the image disk and use the contents properly.
After you have downloaded, you need to burn the Ophcrack ISO image to a CD. That can be easily done through Nero. The ISO comes as a complete suite containing SliTaz which is a Linux distribution, the Ophcrack and various files needed to recover passwords. Don’t worry about anything. The Ophcrack LiveCD is completely automatic, you don’t need any kind of Linux experience whatsoever.
Unfortunately there are some paranoid antivirus programs out there that will probably detect two of the files included on the ISO as malware or adware. There are two files that seem to be the cause of all the “trouble”. The samdump.dll file and the executable pwservice.exe; these two components are used to form a program which is used at extracting passwords and it represents the “threat” that the antivirus detects.
So you don’t have to worry as long as the antivirus marks those two files as malware. That is as long as it’s only those two files. Simply ignore it and go on with your process.
After you’ve burned the CD then head to BIOS and place the DVDROM as the primary boot device. Then reset and place the Ophcrack DVD in the optical drive. The boot will be made from the DVD and Ophcrack will launch.
From now on the fun part starts. Because of the fact that the process is automatic, you don’t have to do a single thing. Ophcrack will commence locating all the users existent within that particular operating system and will start cracking their passwords one by one. You don’t even have to click on anything. The moment you see the passwords displayed on the screen, go ahead and write them down. And that’s just about it. Then, all you need to do is reboot the computer, head back in Windows and login into the computer with your newly recovered password. After you gain access within the system, it is highly recommended that you head back to User Accounts and change your password again. And …this time, make sure you remember it.
These kinds of programs have a … what we call a sensitive aura around them. Password cracking is somewhat a technique found by most to be illegal. As long as you do it to your own computer, there is no trace of any illegal action. On the other hand, if you head for a different computer, NOT having the consent of the owner, which is where illegality begins. Therefore, no matter what you use this program for, make sure that you are well within legal bonds.11 Buy now!
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