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Cracking the Windows Screen Saver Password

Cracking the Windows Screen Saver Password

This is an interesting hack and not many people know about it. This requires no
canned hacking tool, we will crack the password manually!!! First of all, why do we need to crack the Windows
Screen Saver? How does it restrict us? If a Screen Saver is password protected, then whenever it is turned on, then in
order to turn it off, you need to enter a password. It does not allow us to do anything on a system until and unless we
enter the password. We will keep seeing
the screen saver until we authenticate ourselves by entering the password. No not even CTRL+ALT+DEL works in
this case. An average user encounters around 20 different places where he needs to type in the password. Most
people fin dit very difficult to remember even more than a single password, hence to make life easier for themselves,
they use the same password in all the places. And also on some systems the Login password is same as the Screen
Saver Password. Hence it is very useful to crack the Screen Saver Password.

Now let's move onto cracking the Screen Saver Password. For this example, protect your screen saver with the
password, 'DOPE'. Windows stores the Screen Saver password in the user.dat file in the Windows directory. If you
have multiple profiles on your system then it is stored in the user.dat file in the c:\windows\profiles\username
directory.(On Win 3x systems it is stored in the control.ini file). The user.dat file constitutes the registry of the
Windows system, thus we can say that the Windows Screen Saver Password is stored in the registry. First of all, you
need to change the attributes of this file and make it editable by right clicking on it and unselecting the Read Only
Option else you will not be able to edit it.

Once this is done, open this file in WordPad (Any text editor will do except MS WORD And Notepad.)Now look for
the string: ScreenSave_Data
You will find an even number of characters after Data, this is the Screen Saver
Password encrypted and stored in the hex system. Each pair or hex values represent a single ASCII plain text
character. This means that if there are 10 hex values then the password is of 5 characters, each pair of Hex values
standing for a single plaintext ASCII character. So in order to get the Plaintext password you just need to decrypt
these hex values into ASCII.

There are many screen Saver Password de crypters around which decode the password for you but I believe that it
would be better if we could do it manually without using a third party canned hacking tool. And hey it is really
simple once you get the hang of it. The only thing you need to know is the various number systems. This means that
you need to know The Hex system, The Decimal System and also The Binary System.
For example ASCII character 'A' is 41h(ex), 65 Dec(imal) and 01000001 binary.

One could also get hold of a good ASCII chart which has all the number systems and their conversions. Make sure
that the ASCII chart you get has Hex, Decimal, Binary and of course plaintext ASCII.

XOR

Before I go on let me introduce you to XOR. The following is the chart you need to refer to when you need to
evaluate the XOR value.

input value A | input value B | Output


+--------------------------------------+
| 0 | 0 | 0 |
| 0 | 1 | 1 |
| 1 | 0 | 1 |

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Cracking the Windows Screen Saver Password

| 1 | 1 | 0 |
+--------------------------------------+

Example

Question: Answer:

00001100 00001100
00101001 00101001
-------- <--XOR -------- <--XOR
???????? 00100101

You may ask how did that happen? Well it's easy. Take the case of the first digits. The Input Value A is 0 and the
Input Value B is also 0. Now refer to the XOR chart. You find that the Output when both the Input values are 0 is
also 0. Similarly consider the third values. Input Value A is 0 and the Input value B is 1. If we refer to the XOR
chart, we find that the Output is 1. However the conventional method is to start from the right, as we are taught in
school.

**********************
Hacking Truth: The Screen Saver Password cannot be longer than 14 characters because if it is longer the system
will not either prompt for the password or will hang and reboot.
**********************

It's an even string containing letters and numbers. This is your password. If you've read everything
you should have changed your password to 'DOPE' which is 4 characters
long, and your encrypted password is 8 characters long, (0CA12658)
Hmmm. so D O P E is the same as 0C A1 26 58.
So

D= 0C
O= A1
P= 26
E= 58

Am I right? Ok, and now listen carefully; the 0 represents 4 and C represents
4 too after decryption. Put those two number together and you get
44(h). This is the way you have to do that, with every decrypted couple.
Ok grab an ASCII table and look at 44 HEX. That's 'D' like in DOPE
know what I mean?
So now I'll show you how to get the encryption scheme:

0C --> 44h --> ASCII char 'D'

That means 0 --> 4


C --> 4

ok, now the binary

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Cracking the Windows Screen Saver Password

0 = 00000000
????????
-------- <--XOR
4 = 00000100

Can you still follow me? It might sound a bit weird, but trust me, it is quite simple. Read it again to make it clear.

0 = 00000000
00000100
-------- <--XOR
4 = 00000100

Ok now you know that for the first part 00000100 is used
to decrypt the password, right? But with the second one it
goes different. Then the second part of the hex number, ok C must become 4 too,
so that's easy ;

C = 00001100
????????
--------
4 = 00000100

After performing XOR you will get

C = 00001100
00001000 <-- we found our encryption scheme for the second char and
-------- of the first encrypted character
4 = 00000100

Ok, so far so good, we now know how 0C gets decrypted to


'D' and that the second part uses 00001000
So we must check if it really works. Yeah. So we'll check it,
change your password to 'ERIKA' and the string in the user.dat
will be 0DBC3F5626. Ok, 0D = E
so check it out,

0 = 00000000
00000100 <-- Found decryption scheme
-------- <-- XOR
00000100 <-- 4!

D = 00001101
00001000 <-- Found decryption scheme
-------- <-- XOR
00000101 <-- 5!

So combine the 2 answers and you'll get 45! 45 HEX is ASCII 'E'!! Just like

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Cracking the Windows Screen Saver Password

in 'ERIKA'! So we now know how to decrypt the 1 letter/number of a


password! BUT, as you see and as you know I'll repeat this all shortly

The first password was DOPE with a first character 'D'


the 'D' was encrypted as '0C'. We knew that those two characters
represented the Hex code of the ASCII code 'D', 44! So that means
that 0C has to become 44, we did that with XOR and to make 0
a 4 you had to use 00000100, and to make C a 4 you needed to use
00001000. So that means That if you don't know the decrypted password,
but you found '0D'as first two characters of the password you need
to use the same two binary numbers, 00000100 and 00001000. So you
did that and 0 came out as 4, which is logical, and D came out as
5, using 00001000.

Encrypted password:

09 AC 35 59 22 2F E6 53 33 C6 0C B4 19 DB

Decrypting...
+-----------+
[09] AC 35 59 22 2F E6 53 33 C6 0C B4 19 DB

0=
00000000
00000100 <--- We found that one earlier
--------XOR
00000100 = 4

9=
00001001
00001000 <--- This one too
--------XOR
00000001 = 1

09 = 41 = A

Password until now: A


~

09 [AC] 35 59 22 2F E6 53 33 C6 0C B4 19 DB

A=
00001010
00001110 <--- You didn't knew this one yet, did you? hehehe
--------XOR
00000100 = 4

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Cracking the Windows Screen Saver Password

C=
00001100
00001110
--------XOR
00000010 = 2

AC = 42 = B

Password until now: AB


~

09 AC [35] 59 22 2F E6 53 33 C6 0C B4 19 DB

3=
00000011
00000111
--------XOR
00000100 = 4 (yes, it is a coincidence. Don't expect 4 to come out always)

5=
00000101
00000110
--------XOR
00000011 = 3

35 = 43 = C

Password until now: ABC


~

09 AC 35 [59] 22 2F E6 53 33 C6 0C B4 19 DB

5=
00000101
00000001
--------XOR
00000100 = 4 (*sighs*)

9=
00001001
00001101
--------XOR
00000100 = 4

59 = 44 = D

Password until now: ABCD

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Cracking the Windows Screen Saver Password

09 AC 35 59 [22] 2F E6 53 33 C6 0C B4 19 DB

2=
00000010
00000110
--------
00000100 = 4

2=
00000010
00000111
--------
00000101 = 5

22 = 45 = E

Password until now = ABCDE


~

09 AC 35 59 22 [2F] E6 53 33 C6 0C B4 19 DB

2=
00000010
00000110
--------XOR
00000100 = 4

F=
00001111
00001001
--------XOR
00000110 = 6

2F = 46 = F

Password until now: ABCDEF


~

09 AC 35 59 22 2F [E6] 53 33 C6 0C B4 19 DB

E=
00001110
00001010
--------XOR
00000100 = 4

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Cracking the Windows Screen Saver Password

6=
00000110
00000001
--------XOR
00000111 = 7

E6 = 47 = G

Password until now: ABCDEFG


~

09 AC 35 59 22 2F E6 [53] 33 C6 0C B4 19 DB

5=
00000101
00000001
--------XOR
00000100 = 4

3=
00000011
00001011
--------XOR
00001000 = 8

53 = 48 = H

Password until now: ABCDEFGH


~

09 AC 35 59 22 2F E6 53 [33] C6 0C B4 19 DB

3=
00000011
00000111
--------XOR
00000100 = 4

3=
00000011
00001010
--------XOR
00001001 = 9

33 = 49 = I

Password until now: ABCDEFGHI


~

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Cracking the Windows Screen Saver Password

09 AC 35 59 22 2F E6 53 33 [C6] 0C B4 19 DB

C=
00001100
00001000
--------XOR
00000100 = 4

6=
00000110
00001100
--------XOR
00001010 = A

C6 = 4A = J

Password until now: ABCDEFGHIJ


~

09 AC 35 59 22 2F E6 53 33 C6 [0C] B4 19 DB

0=
00000000
00000100
--------XOR
00000100 = 4

C=
00001100
00000111
--------XOR
00001011 = B

0C = 4B = K

Password until now: ABCDEFGHIJK


~

09 AC 35 59 22 2F E6 53 33 C6 0C [B4] 19 DB

B=
00001011
00001111
--------XOR
00000100 = 4

4=

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Cracking the Windows Screen Saver Password

00000100
00001000
--------XOR
00001100 = C

B4 = 4C = L

Password until now: ABCDEFGHIJKL


~

09 AC 35 59 22 2F E6 53 33 C6 0C B4 [19] DB

1=
00000001
00000101
--------XOR
00000100 = 4

9=
00001001
00000100
--------XOR
00001101 = D

19 = 4D = M

Password until now: ABCDEFGHIJKLM


~

09 AC 35 59 22 2F E6 53 33 C6 0C B4 19 [DB]

D=
00001101
00001001
--------XOR
00000100 = 4

B=
00001011
00000101
--------XOR
00001110 = E

DB = 4E = N

COMPLETE PASSWORD: ABCDEFGHIJKLMN

I did this so you could see 14 encrypted characters, being decrypted.

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Cracking the Windows Screen Saver Password

Also you could see the decryption scheme that I used, which is always
the same as I used. But, for beginners who didn't paid attention or are
too lazy to look it up above here is the entire decryption scheme:

Number. in string | 1st char of encrypted password : 2nd


+---------------------------------------------------------------------------+
1 00000100 00001000

2 00001110 00001110

3 00000111 00000110

4 00000001 00001101

5 00000110 00000111

6 00000110 00001001

7 00001010 00000001

8 00000001 00001011

9 00000111 00001010

10 00001000 00001100

11 00000100 00000111

12 00001111 00001000

13 00000101 00000100

14 00001001 00000101
+---------------------------------------------------------------------------+

So...I'll give another example, here I show how to use the scheme printed
above and how to decrypt an unknown password. If you already get it, just
skip this part and read the next part. Here we go;

Encrypted password;

18A1394D

As you can see it's 8 chars long.

Well, let's go!

1= 00000001

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Cracking the Windows Screen Saver Password

00000100 <-- look it up in the scheme above, pos 1,1


--------XOR
00000101 --> 5

8= 00001000
00001000 <-- Scheme positions 1,2
--------XOR
00000000 --> 0

Combine those two solutions and you'll get 50h(ex); ASCII char 'P'
Ok, second couple;

A= 00001010
00001110 <-- Scheme pos. 2,1
--------
00000100 --> 4

1= 00000001
00001110 <-- Scheme pos. 2,2
--------XOR
00001111 --> F

Combine those two solutions and you'll get 4Fh; ASCII char 'O'
Ok, third couple;

3= 00000011
00000111 <-- scheme..etc
--------XOR
00000100 --> 4

9= 00001001
00000110
--------XOR
00001111 --> F

Same as the previous one...4Fh = ASCII char 'O'


Next couple; Fourth one

4= 00000100
00000001
--------XOR
00000101 --> 5

D= 00001101
00001101
--------XOR
00000000 --> 0

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Cracking the Windows Screen Saver Password

And you'll get 50h = 'P' so the password was POOP. Got it?

The above process is quite not necessary and there is a simpler way to crack
this Screen Saver Security feature.First of all for this hack you need to
find
out which screen saver is currently being used which is password
protected.Just
right click on the desktop and select Properties and then click on Screen
Saver.Now note down the name of the currently choosen screen saver(which is
also
the password protected screen saver.)I am assuming that the Flying Through
Space
Screen saver is the curreently choosen password protected Screen Saver.Now
goto
the DOS prompt and launch the Microsoft Editor by typing:

C:\windows>edit /70

The /70 specifies that only 70 characters should be displayed per line, this
just makes the file that you open easier to read else you will have to
scroll a
lot to your right.
Anyway before you launch this editor you need to goto the c:\windows\system
directory by using the cd system command.Now remember that all screen savers
have the default extension of .scr thus normally a screen saver file will be
something like filename.scr All registered or installed screen savers are
stored
in the c:\windows\system directory.You need to view the names of all acreen
savers and then note down the name of the screen saver currently in use in
order
to go on with this hack.To do this do something like the below:
Issue the dir/0 *.scr command to view all screen saver files.

C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM>dir/p *.scr

Volume in drive C has no label


Volume Serial Number is 231C-00F6
Directory of C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM

BLANKS~1 SCR 9,728 05-11-98 8:01p Blank Screen.scr


MYSTIF~1 SCR 21,504 05-11-98 8:01p Mystify Your Mind.scr
FLYING~1 SCR 14,848 05-11-98 8:01p Flying Windows.scr
FLYING~2 SCR 16,384 05-11-98 8:01p Flying Through Space.scr
CURVES~1 SCR 16,896 05-11-98 8:01p Curves and Colors.scr
3DFLYI~1 SCR 203,104 05-11-98 8:01p 3D Flying Objects.scr
3DMAZE~1 SCR 478,128 05-11-98 8:01p 3D Maze.scr
3DPIPE~1 SCR 161,040 05-11-98 8:01p 3D Pipes.scr
3DTEXT~1 SCR 121,456 05-11-98 8:01p 3D Text.scr

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Cracking the Windows Screen Saver Password

3DFLOW~1 SCR 94,112 05-11-98 8:01p 3D Flower Box.scr


SCROLL~1 SCR 18,944 05-11-98 8:01p Scrolling Marquee.scr
SPORTS SCR 38,400 05-11-98 8:01p Sports.scr
TRAVEL SCR 38,400 05-11-98 8:01p Travel.scr
JUNGLE SCR 38,912 05-11-98 8:01p Jungle.scr
WINDOW~2 SCR 102,912 05-11-98 8:01p Windows 98.scr
SCIENCE SCR 101,888 05-11-98 8:01p Science.scr
INSIDE~2 SCR 38,400 05-11-98 8:01p Inside your Computer.scr
SPACE SCR 38,912 05-11-98 8:01p Space.scr
MYSTERY SCR 38,400 05-11-98 8:01p Mystery.scr
BASEBALL SCR 38,912 05-11-98 8:01p Baseball.scr
THE60'~2 SCR 101,888 05-11-98 8:01p The 60's USA.scr
LEONAR~2 SCR 38,400 05-11-98 8:01p Leonardo da Vinci.scr
THEGOL~2 SCR 38,400 05-11-98 8:01p The Golden Era.scr
DANGER~2 SCR 38,400 05-11-98 8:01p Dangerous Creatures.scr
NATURE SCR 38,400 05-11-98 8:01p Nature.scr
UNDERW~2 SCR 38,912 05-11-98 8:01p Underwater.scr
26 file(s) 1,925,680 bytes
0 dir(s) 91,197,440 bytes free

The last column contains the friendly name of the screen saver that Windows
uses, but the column that we are interested in is the first column which
contains the actual name of the screen saver which is needed in order to
edit it
and have some kewl fun.So first look for the friendly name in the right most
column and then locate is corressponding actual name.In this case it would
be
FLYING~2.scr as I want to hack the Fyling Through Space Screen Saver.
Anyway back to the Editor, once it is launched click on File>Open and open
the
file: c:\windows\system\screensavername.scr

Anyway this will bring a blue screen that is the MSDOS editor screen with
the
screensaver file has been opened. The screen would look like full of weird
characters or something in machine language.
Well almost.
Let me start by describing what you would be seeing if you followed the
above
steps.
Now the screen is full of weird characters like a heart , a smiley face and
other unrecognizable pieces of junk.
Well actually each symbol you see has a numerical value that you can see at
the
right bottom of the screen at VALUE:###.
To see what each symbol stands for move your cursor over the symbol and look
at
the right bottom screen at VALUE:###.

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Cracking the Windows Screen Saver Password

At the bottom you also see LINE: #### which gives you the line number.
You are not going to edit these symbols but edit the part of the files which
consists of these unrecognizable characters and text that you actually can
understand.Anyway we do not care about the non understandable part we are
just
concerned with Hacking the prompt for the screen Saver Password.
Now seacrh for the string:

VerifyScreenSavePwd or if you do not find this look for the string:


VerifyScreenSave .

This is the line that directs Windows to prompt for the Screen Saver
Password
whenever you try to do something while the Password Protected Screen Saver
is
running.So if this refernece or call is not there then Windows will not know
be
told to display the prompt.But before editing anything just remember that:
Now you must have noticed by now that in explorer.exe the text has a space
in
between them.Now this space is not the space of the spacebar.Let me put it
this
way, in the file explorer.exe the value of a space from the spacebar i.e.
the
value of the space that appers on the screen if if click the spacebar once
is 32
and the value of the spaces that are there in between characters in
explorer.exe
is 0.If there was no space in between letters, it would look untidy.
The total number of characters of the file should not change else the file
will
be corupted and will not work properly.
Thus to ensure this instead of deleting the entire string:
VerifyScreenSavePwd
just change it to VarifyScreenSavePwd
(Notice that the 2nd letter is now a instead of e.) After this is done, the
next
time Windows will not at all ask for the Screen Saver Password.Once your
worl is
done, just change the string back to VerifyScreenSavePwd.

Special Thanks to: Zhorthrox

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