Top 12 best Windows and Unix Password Recovery Tools
In case you forget your password or you just need to enter -legally- some kind of system that you did not know the password, or you just want to recover your lost password, then you need to bookmark this list of best password recovery tools. Mostly available for free and always updated, so thanks for every contributor in this list. Ok, here we go
1. Cain and Abel : The top password recovery tool for Windows
UNIX users often smugly assert that the best free security tools support their platform first, and Windows ports are often an afterthought. They are usually right, but Cain & Abel is a glaring exception. This Windows-only password recovery tool handles an enormous variety of tasks. It can recover passwords by sniffing the network, cracking encrypted passwords using Dictionary, Brute-Force and Cryptanalysis attacks, recording VoIP conversations, decoding scrambled passwords, revealing password boxes, uncovering cached passwords and analyzing routing protocols. It is also well documented.
2. John the Ripper : A powerful, flexible, and fast multi-platform password hash cracker
John the Ripper is a fast password cracker, currently available for many flavors of Unix (11 are officially supported, not counting different architectures), DOS, Win32, BeOS, and OpenVMS. Its primary purpose is to detect weak Unix passwords. It supports several crypt(3) password hash types which are most commonly found on various Unix flavors, as well as Kerberos AFS and Windows NT/2000/XP LM hashes. Several other hash types are added with contributed patches. You will want to start with some wordlists, which you can find here, here, or here.
3. THC Hydra : A Fast network authentication cracker which support many different services
When you need to brute force crack a remote authentication service, Hydra is often the tool of choice. It can perform rapid dictionary attacks against more then 30 protocols, including telnet, ftp, http, https, smb, several databases, and much more. Like THC Amap this release is from the fine folks at THC.
4. Aircrack : The fastest available WEP/WPA cracking tool
Aircrack is a suite of tools for 802.11a/b/g WEP and WPA cracking. It can recover a 40 through 512-bit WEP key once enough encrypted packets have been gathered. It can also attack WPA 1 or 2 networks using advanced cryptographic methods or by brute force. The suite includes airodump (an 802.11 packet capture program), aireplay (an 802.11 packet injection program), aircrack (static WEP and WPA-PSK cracking), and airdecap (decrypts WEP/WPA capture files).
5. L0phtcrack : Windows password auditing and recovery application
L0phtCrack, also known as LC5, attempts to crack Windows passwords from hashes which it can obtain (given proper access) from stand-alone Windows NT/2000 workstations, networked servers, primary domain controllers, or Active Directory. In some cases it can sniff the hashes off the wire. It also has numerous methods of generating password guesses (dictionary, brute force, etc). LC5 was discontinued by Symantec in 2006, but you can still find the LC5 installer floating around. The free trial only lasts 15 days, and Symantec won't sell you a key, so you'll either have to cease using it or find a key generator. Since it is no longer maintained, you are probably better off trying Cain and Abel, John the Ripper, or Ophcrack instea
6. Airsnort : 802.11 WEP Encryption Cracking Tool
AirSnort is a wireless LAN (WLAN) tool that recovers encryption keys. It was developed by the Shmoo Group and operates by passively monitoring transmissions, computing the encryption key when enough packets have been gathered. You may also be interested in the similar Aircrack.
7. SolarWinds : A plethora of network discovery/monitoring/attack tools
SolarWinds has created and sells dozens of special-purpose tools targeted at systems administrators. Security-related tools include many network discovery scanners, an SNMP brute-force cracker, router password decryption, a TCP connection reset program, one of the fastest and easiest router config download/upload applications available and more.
8. Pwdump : A window password recovery tool
Pwdump is able to extract NTLM and LanMan hashes from a Windows target, regardless of whether Syskey is enabled. It is also capable of displaying password histories if they are available. It outputs the data in L0phtcrack-compatible form, and can write to an output file.
9. RainbowCrack : An Innovative Password Hash Cracker
The RainbowCrack tool is a hash cracker that makes use of a large-scale time-memory trade-off. A traditional brute force cracker tries all possible plaintexts one by one, which can be time consuming for complex passwords. RainbowCrack uses a time-memory trade-off to do all the cracking-time computation in advance and store the results in so-called "rainbow tables". It does take a long time to precompute the tables but RainbowCrack can be hundreds of times faster than a brute force cracker once the precomputation is finished.
10. Brutus : A network brute-force authentication cracker
This Windows-only cracker bangs against network services of remote systems trying to guess passwords by using a dictionary and permutations thereof. It supports HTTP, POP3, FTP, SMB, TELNET, IMAP, NTP, and more. No source code is available. UNIX users should take a look at THC Hydra.
11. PC Login Now
The aptly named PC Login Now is the fastest Windows password recovery tool I've tested. PC Login Now doesn't actually "recover" your password - it erases it. With a blank password, you simply log on without entering a password at all!
Like Ophcrack, you don't need access to Windows to be able to recover passwords. Just visit their website, download and burn the ISO image, and then boot from the CD. PC Login Now starts automatically and resets the password to any account on your command. It's absolutely that easy. In my tests, PC Login Now instantly cleared the password to an administrator account on a Windows Vista PC. I also tested this password recovery tool in Windows XP where it was 100% successful as well.
LCP is yet another free and very effective password recovery software tool for Windows. Like Cain & Abel, LCP is a standard Windows program you download from LCPSoft's website and install inside of Windows.
LCP can be a little intimidating to those new to password recovery tools so some prior knowledge is very helpful to avoid even bigger problems with your PC. In my test with LCP, my 7-digit administrator password was discovered in just under ten minutes.