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  1. #1
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    Cracking Sheet Protection

    For many years there has been a macro and/or hidden file that can be used to crack passwords on protected worksheets available at http://www.mcgimpsey.com/excel/removepwords.html.

    I just tried this for the first time on a new system: running Windows 8.1 Enterprise (64-bit) with Excel 2013 (15.0.4675.1000) 32-bit.

    I just loaded the allinternalpasswords.xls file from that site, and ran the macro by clicking the button on the Add-Ins tab.

    I got the following error message:

    Cannot run the macro ... The macro may not be available in this workbook or all macros may be disabled.

    Macros were enabled before I opened the file. The macro does not show up in the list of macros under the Developer tab (but it didn't under earlier versions of Windows and Excel since this file hides itself after adding the macro and tab to the ribbon.

    Any ideas on what's going wrong?

    FWIW: I teach an MBA class on spreadsheet engineering, and password cracking is a standard part of the curriculum ... lots of firms need to crack the spreadsheets of former employees.

  2. #2
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    There are plenty of free and paid spreadsheet password crackers available. I have used a few and all worked well, but I have never used one that is a spreadsheet, they are all stand-alone executables.

    cheers, Paul

  3. #3
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    Fair enough.

    I'd like something like that particular file though.

    It's virtue is that you can load it in the background, and then crack any protected worksheet that comes across your desk.

    It's great for managers who have to go through the files of former employees, or teachers who get overprotected submissions from students.

  4. #4
    WS Lounge VIP rory's Avatar
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    You could try this add-in.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Regards,
    Rory

    Microsoft MVP - Excel

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    I've been goofing around with this one for a few days. It seems to tie up Excel 2013 in a loop. I could be wrong, but I can't imagine that it would take more than several minutes to crack a short password. Thoughts?

  7. #6
    WS Lounge VIP rory's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boobounder View Post
    I could be wrong, but I can't imagine that it would take more than several minutes to crack a short password
    Sadly, you are wrong. The security implementation was changed in 2013 and now unprotecting sheets in code takes MUCH longer than it used to, which is a real pain for a lot of people.
    Regards,
    Rory

    Microsoft MVP - Excel

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  9. #7
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    they should not be let go or given any final payment until they have provided all passwords to teh company. have them sign an agreement on hiring making them responsible for financial damages and other penalties should they leave without turning over everything including xls with the passwords.

    better to prevent than try to fix later


    Quote Originally Posted by boobounder View Post
    For many years there has been a macro and/or hidden file that can be used to crack passwords on protected worksheets available at http://www.mcgimpsey.com/excel/removepwords.html.

    I just tried this for the first time on a new system: running Windows 8.1 Enterprise (64-bit) with Excel 2013 (15.0.4675.1000) 32-bit.

    I just loaded the allinternalpasswords.xls file from that site, and ran the macro by clicking the button on the Add-Ins tab.

    I got the following error message:

    Cannot run the macro ... The macro may not be available in this workbook or all macros may be disabled.

    Macros were enabled before I opened the file. The macro does not show up in the list of macros under the Developer tab (but it didn't under earlier versions of Windows and Excel since this file hides itself after adding the macro and tab to the ribbon.

    Any ideas on what's going wrong?

    FWIW: I teach an MBA class on spreadsheet engineering, and password cracking is a standard part of the curriculum ... lots of firms need to crack the spreadsheets of former employees.

  10. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by rory View Post
    Sadly, you are wrong. The security implementation was changed in 2013 and now unprotecting sheets in code takes MUCH longer than it used to, which is a real pain for a lot of people.
    That's exactly what I was looking for. I'll let the program you uploaded run overnight, and we'll see what it can do.

    Speedball: This is a second best solution. Yes, your suggestion would be first best. But when it doesn't work out, using a password cracker is Plan B.

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