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Fastest, tested, mostly free password recovery software with benchmarks and review

Other Office → PDF password recovery

PDF password recovery/decryption service

Overview of PDF password protection: PDF security consists of 2 different passwords: a document open password and permissions password. The first one can protect the document from opening, the second one can set restrictions to the document, for example print disabling. Used cryptalgorithms were being improved with PDF developing: up to version 1.4 only 40-bit keys have been used, then the 128-bit ones came, and starting from version 1.6, AES encryption is being added. In the latest Acobat 9 version AES keys were extended to the 256-bit length.

However, PDF security system is implemented so that a file with restrictions may be decrypted instantly, irrespective of the password length, even for 128 or 256-bit keys. A document with password for opening, using 40-bit key, can be decrypted on a modern computer within a week by using guaranteed decryption. To open a document with 128 or 256-bit key, only brute force can be used.

Password recovery tools
File extensions: pdf
PDF crypto algorithms: RC4, MD5, AES (PDF 1.6+)
PDF encryption weakness: human factor, export regulations, stroring a key along with data
Possible attacks against PDF: brute-force, exhaustive key search
Attacks complexity: 240(PDF up to 1.4), 2128(PDF 1.5+), 2256 (PDF 1.7+)

How can I recover PDF password? If you need to remove restrictions from PDF document then use the software that can do in instantly. If your document has password for opening and the key is 40 bit then use guaranteed recovery tools. Else, if key is 128 bit, please use the brute-force tool that is optimized for your computer.

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Parallel Passsword Recovery (PDF module) 1.5 ++
(1959 downloads)
by Parallel Password Recovery
Pentium 4 rate: not tested
Core 2 Duo rate: 130.000* (128-bit) / 2.000.000* (256-bit)
AMD rate : not tested
CUDA rate : 600.000 (128-bit) / 80.000.000 (256-bit)
Optimized for Pentium II/III; Pentium 4; Core 2; AMD; Dual; NVIDIA GPU

fastest

Commercial
Price:  $29.00
buy!
Description: The utility to recover PDF documents open passwords, 128 and 256-bit RC4 and AES encryption supported. Supports all Acrobat versions up to 9.0. Effectively uses up to 8 CPUs and NVIDIA GPUs. Contains special Password Definition Language.

Advanced PDF Password Recovery (APDFPR) 5.03 ++
(9422 downloads)
by ElcomSoft Co.Ltd.
Pentium 4 rate: 12 days (decryption, 40 bit key), 5000 p/s (128 bit key), instantly (restrictions removal)
Core 2 Duo rate: 3* days (40 bit key), 14.000 (128 bit key), 2.300.000 * (256-bit key) / instantly (restrictions removal)
AMD rate : 9 days (decryption, 40 bit key), 8000 p/s (128 bit key), instantly (restrictions removal)
CUDA rate : 18.000.000 (256 bit key only)
Optimized for Pentium II/III; Pentium 4; Core 2; AMD; Dual; NVIDIA GPU

fastest

Shareware
Price:  $49.00
buy!
Description: A GUI utility to remove restrictions from PDF documents, such as printing, editing etc. Acrobat 3.x-9.x files supported. Pro version also allows to search for "owner" and/or "user" passwords with brute-force, dictionary attacks and has guaranteed decryption feature (for 40 bit key length). Enterprise version uses state-of-the-art "time-memory trade-off" technology, allowing to break "user" password in just a few minutes.

Guaranteed PDF Decrypter (GuaPDF) 3.2 ++++
(16552 downloads)
by PSW-soft
Pentium 4 rate: 12 days (40 bit key) / instantly (removing restrictions)
Core 2 Duo rate: 3* days (40 bit key) / instantly (removing restrictions)
AMD rate : 9 days (40 bit key) / instantly (removing restrictions)
CUDA rate : 1 day
Optimized for Pentium II/III; Pentium 4; Core 2; AMD; Dual; NVIDIA GPU; ATI GPU

Recommended
fastest

Demo
Price:  $25.00
buy!
Description: The utility which allows you to instantly remove restrictions on PDF files, such as printing and editing (even with 256-bit key, Acrobat 7.x-10.x AES encryption and compressed files supported). It also can decrypt PDF files with password for opening (40 bit key only).

Elcomsoft Distributed Password Recovery 2.71 +++
(24141 downloads)
by ElcomSoft Co.Ltd.
Pentium 4 rate: not tested
Core 2 Duo rate: not tested
AMD rate : not tested
CUDA rate : N/A
Optimized for Pentium II/III; Pentium 4; AMD; NVIDIA GPU


Shareware
Price:  $599.00
buy!
Description: High-performance distributed password recovery for forensic and government agencies, password recovery and data recovery services and corporations. Recover the most complex passwords and strong encryption keys in realistic timeframes. Accelerate the recovery by offloading calculations to NVIDIA GPUs and scale to over 10,000 workstations with zero scalability overhead.

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