Newsgroups: sci.crypt,alt.sources From: (Ron Dippold) Subject: WPCRACK.

DOC Message-ID: <rdippold.725047389@cancun> Date: Tue, 22 Dec 1992 18:03:09 GMT WPCRACK 1.0 - Word Perfect 5.x Password Finder Now, files with forgotten passwords are no longer lost forever! Copyright (C) 1991 Ron Dippold What This Is -----------------------------------------------------------------------------Word Perfect's manual claims that "You can protect or lock your documents with a password so that no one will be able to retrieve or print the file without knowing the password - not even you," and "If you forget the password, there is absolutely no way to retrieve the document." [1] Pretty impressive! Actually, you could crack the password of a Word Perfect 5.x file on a 8 1/2" x 11" sheet of paper, it's so simple. If you are counting your files being safe, they are NOT. Bennet [2] originally discovered how the file was encrypted, and Bergen and Caelli [3] determined further information regarding version 5.x. I have taken these papers, extended them, and written some programs to extract the password from the file. If you don't care about theory, skip to the next section (Why This Program). Stupid, Stupid, Stupid! ----------------------------------------------------------------------------Word Perfect allows you to add a password to a file. When you save it, it will be encrypted, and it requires the password to uncrypt it. Word Perfect encrypts the file by a method of two exclusive ORs. First, it takes the length of the password plus 1 and increments this for each character, wrapping from 255 to 0. This incrementing sequence is XORed with the text to be encrypted. Secondly, the password is repeatedly XORed with blocks of the plaintext of the same size as the password. As a simple example, say the password is "BONE". The incrementing sequence would start with 5 (one more than the number of characters in BONE). BONE in hexidecimal is 42 4F 4E 45. Text: H e l l o ! 48 65 6C 6C 6F 21

Sequence: 05 06 07 08 09 0A Password: 42 4F 4E 45 42 4F ------------------------------Result: 0F 2C 25 21 24 64

It also stores a 16-bit checksum that is computed as following: checksum = 0 for each character in the password { rotate the checksum right by one bit XOR the character into the high 8 bits of the checksum } Now, this method of encryption worked well in Word Perfect 4.x., where the

actual text is the only thing encrypted. To determine the password that was used, you would have to determine the characters and the length. Not easy, and it would take lots of compuuting power, basically brute force trying different passwords that had the correct checksums (very thoughtful of them to leave that in there). However, someone did a very dumb thing and extended this scheme to Word Perfect 5.x incorrectly. In Word Perfect 5.x, when you encrypt a file IT ENCRYPTS INFORMATION THAT IS CONSTANT FROM FILE TO FILE. There are certain bytes that are guaranteed to be the same always, and 22 total bytes that never seem to change. What this means is that we have known plaintext for some encrypted text! And because the method of encryption is so regular, it is a simple method to reverse the encryption method to find the password. The password is repeatedly applied to the text, so we have a check. Say we are trying a password length of 4. We know the incrementing sequence must start at 5 (4+1). So we XOR that, the first encrypted byte, and the known value of that byte and we get back a character. This might be the first character of the password. Now, we check it! We just move over 4 bytes (since it repeats), increment the sequence number by 4, and repeat. If the character is the same as the password we first got, this could be the password. In reality, it's not so easy. The known bytes are spread out, and for some password lengths there are some letters we can't figure out. And if anything that I expect to stay constant changes that'll mess things up. The first problem can be solved if there is only one missing character: since WP was so nice as to include the checksum, I can just try all possible values of the missing character until the checksum matches. The second problem I deal with by trying to get up to five complete versions of the password for each length from different sections of the known info. Then I run a "vote" to see how well each charcter agrees with each other and an overall confidence level for that length. Any that are above a threshold I explore further as shown below. I also know that certain password values are forbidden, namely anything above 128 and lower case characters (they are translated to upper case) so this helps pare down the choices. If there is more than one missing character (possible on very long passwords, above 14 characters), then it is up to the person running the program to figure out what they could possibly be. After all, if it is "IMP_RTANT REPO_T" where the "_" are the missing characters, "IMPORTANT REPORT" should be obvious to most people. The method is very flexible, it seems to get most passwords easily, and anything really strange should be caught by the flexible threshold.

Why This Program -----------------------------------------------------------------------------I know people are going to instantly accuse me of writing this just as a tool for hackers to steal confidential data. However, I have seen too many people asking how to recover their own locked files ("I forgot my password!") and

losing many hours to think that this does not have plenty of legitimate use. The algorithm for cracking the programs has been available for quite some time, I just automated it and did some filling in the blanks. Anyone who thought their files were safe when encrypted like this was fooling themselves (or were fooled by the claims made about the encryption). What can I say, every tool has the potential for abuse. The idea here is for you to save your files that you've forgotten the password to. WPCRACK also has some purely technical interest value. Watching how easily it can crack a WP file, even on a 4 MHz XT, can be unnerving. The algorithm really doesn't take that much processing power.

How to Use It ------------------------------------------------------------------------------The syntax is: WPCRACK (-d) (-t) <filename> ( <threshold> ) Parameters: <filename> is the Word Perfect file to crack. <threshold> is the percentage confidence threshold over which a length is considered to be a possibility. This can vary from 0 (always) to 100 (only the best) and defaults to 80. If you can't get a password from a file you KNOW is protected, lower the threshold. You'll have more garbage to sort through, but you'll get something. Switches: -d : Normally when WPCRACK prints the characters, it prints the actual characters. Unfortunately, control characters are allowed in passwords, and these can do strange things to the screen output. The -d switch will print the decimal values of each character on the line below. This is not pretty, but may be the only option you have to find out what character that really is. -t : This will force WPCRACK to print all answers in table form, rather that using special displays for passwords with one or no missing characters (see below). This lets you see ALL possible passwords. Note: WPCRACK can spit out quite a bit out output. You might consider redirecting the output to a file by adding a "> filename" to the end of the line if it goes by too fast. This will send all the output to the file, which you can then edit, print, or do whatever you want with. For example: WPCRACK MYFILE.WP > OUTPUT.TXT And then you can view or print OUTPUT.TXT

The Results

------------------------------------------------------------------------------WPCRACK will check the file for passwords of length 1 to 17 currently. It will generate up to five passwords for each length (less for the larger passwords, as we only have 22 bytes to work with total). It then decides how closely all the guesses agree with each other. If we chose the wrong length, we would expect the different guesses to be almost random. If the length is correct, they should almost all agree. WPCRACK weights the results for each length to get a "confidence level" and then compares that to the threshold. Any below the threshold are automatically discarded and no longer figure in anything more. The remaining lengths are sorted by confidence level, highest to lowest. for each of the lengths, the following is done. CRACKWP checks to see how many missing letters there are. in the password that we have absolutely _no_ guesses for. No Missing Characters: If there are no missing characters, WPCRACK tried every combination of the possible characters for each position. It determines the checksum for that combination, and if it matches the checksum stored in the file, it prints the password. For a file where the correct password is "PASS1" you will see: PASS1 -- Good Checksum Then

These are positions

One Missing Character: When there is only one missing character, WPCRACK makes use of the checksum stored in the file. It generates every combination of the known characters in the password. Then it works backwards from these and the checksum to figure out what the character must have been. If the character is a legal character for a password, the resulting password is printed. For a file where the correct password is "BIG_PASSWORD" you might see: BIG_PASSWO D ^ The missing character will be extrapolated from the checksum BIG_PASSWORD -- Good Checksum

More Missing Characters or Table Mode: When there is more that one missing character, there isn't anything to do except show you all the possibilities and let the superior text recognition system in your head see if it recognizes anything reasonable. In addition, if just letting WPCRYPT run doesn't produce the desired results, this will let you bypass all the extra processing and do it yourself straight from the possibilities.

The format of a password table for a length is: # of matches: 43355 Primary Guess: PASS1 Checksum good!

The "Primary Guess" means that all these characters are the best guesses for each position. The numbers above them are the number of occurences of each character. In the above example, there were 4 places that WPCRACK attempted to determine the first character of the password. "P" turned up 4 times. "A" turned up in the second position 3 times. The number of times per character varies because the known bytes are not evenly distributed. In this case, the checksum of the primary guess matched, so it shows that. Now if we have a case where there are multiple character possibilities for one or more positions, you will see something like this: Password length of 15 with 20% confidence level: # of matches: 111111101100121 Primary Guess: FWII/N E' Y]; (Incomplete!) # of matches: 100010000100001 Alternates: Z ? In this case, there are three characters that we have no clue about (the ones with zeros above them in the primary guess. There is another line of counts and characters below it - these are more possibilities. Here, the first character of the password is equally likely to be a "F" or "Z". A more useful useful result might be something like this if you force table mode: # of matches: 43353 Primary Guess: HELLA # of matches: 00002 Alternates: O In this case, three times the last character turned out to be "A", and twice it was "O". "O" was the correct letter, apparently, for then it would spell "HELLO". Table mode lets you see this, although the "no missing characters" display should have picked the "HELLO" correctly as well. I'm sure there is some good use for this... It's too nifty to leave out and makes a good safety net. Checksum bad!

Notes ------------------------------------------------------------------------------The longer the password used, the less chance of determining all of it. Luckily, most people don't use passwords greater than 13 characters, and CRACKWP should get anything less than that. And when CRACKWP can't figure it out, you will be shown all of the password that it can figure out and you might be able to do something with what's shown, just like a crossword puzzle. If any of the 22 bytes I assumed are constant change, then things get hairy! This is why I do all the contortions with voting, table display, etc. Unless the change is really drastic, CRACKWP should be able to find it anyway.

I'd suggest the folks at Word Perfect use a different method in version 6.0! For a product such as this, it's really bad that it's so insecure. This is good for those of us who forget our passwords, but bad for someone who thinks their data is safe. I haven't tried this on any Word Perfect 5.x other than the IBM version. If you have it for another computer and are interested in getting a version for it, and you have InterNet access, send me the following: a UUENCODED (short) Word Perfect 5.x file, a UUENCODED version of the file after it has been saved with a password, and a letter saying hello and the password you used. See my address below.

References ------------------------------------------------------------------------------[1] "WordPerfect for IBM Personal Computers" WordPerfect Corporation, 1989 [2] Bennet,J "Analysis of the Encryption Algorith used in the Word Perfect Word Processing Program" 1987, "Cryptologia" Vol XI, No. 4. pp 206-210 [3] Bergen, H.A. and Caelli, W. J. "File Security in WordPerfect 5.0" 1990, "Cryptologia" ============================================================================== You can reach me at my Internet address of or contact me at one of the fine boards below: Board Phone My Username ------------------------------------------------------------ComputorEdge On-Line (619) 573-1635 SYSOP . Radio-Active (619) 268-9625 Iceman -All employees: the restrooms. We are phasing in a paperless office. We are starting with