Fastest, tested, mostly free password recovery software with benchmarks and review
Operational Systems → Windows NT/2000/XP password recovery
Overview of Windows NT/2000/XP password protection:
Historically, all systems of Windows NT branch had to support two user authentication schemes Ė the so-called LanManager (LM) hashes and NT (NTLM) hashes. The first one contains grave cryptographic flaws. The worst one is that the passwords which are longer than 7 characters arenít cracked longer than the 7-symbols ones. Nowadays it takes just few minutes to crack a password of any length, consisting of letters of both cases, and the exhaustive search of all printablle passwords will take only couple of weeks.
The second scheme is much more secure, but usually itís no use cracking it, as the system often stores both hashes, and all attention is paid to the LM-hash.
Windows NT/2000/XP crypto algorithms: proprietary (LM) / MD4 (NT) Windows NT/2000/XP encryption weakness: human factor, weak hashing algorithm Possible attacks against Windows NT/2000/XP: exhaustive key search / brute force, dictionary Attacks complexity: 243(LM) / 2103(NT)