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    How to crack passwords

    Asterisk Key (Windows)

    The first of the useful resources for cracking passwords that I want to suggest you use is Asterisk Key. As its name suggests quite easily, it is a free program for Windows that allows you to recover the passwords hidden behind the asterisks in Internet Explorer and in Windows dialog boxes. It is very effective and does not require any advanced knowledge to use. Let's see in more detail how it works.

    The first fundamental move you need to make in order to use the program is to download it to your computer. To do this, then connect to the Asterisk Key website and click on the button Download Free located on the right.

    When the download is complete, open the .exe file you just obtained and in the window you see appear on the desktop, click first on Yes and then Next, I agree, its Next, its install and Finish to finish the installation process and start the software on the PC.

    Now wait for the Asterisk Key window to be visible on the desktop then open IE, go to the web page containing the access key covered by the asterisks and click on the button Recover by Asterisk Key. Within a few seconds you should be able to see the hidden passkey. For Windows dialogs too, the procedure is the same.

    The password is the one you find written between the square brackets after the wording Password and the address of the web page from which it was extracted.

    Nirsoft Bullet PassView (Windows)

    Another good program you can use to crack the passwords behind the asterisks is Nirsoft Bullet PassView. It is a free tool for Windows operating systems thanks to which it is possible to identify the access keys saved on the PC, in the various programs used, as well as in Internet Explorer. Using it is a real breeze. It also does not require installation!

    To use it, first download the program on your PC by visiting the relevant download page and then clicking on the link Download BulletsPassView in Zip file. Also click on the link city in the table below in order to download the translation file in citt脿n. Then extract both compressed archives to the same location on your computer and run the file BulletPassView.exe.

    In the software window that you will see appear on the screen, corresponding to the column Password you will then find the list of all the passwords saved on the PC. In the column Window title instead you will find the corresponding program or service. If no data appears, I suggest you reload the Nirsoft Bullet PassView window by clicking on the button with the blank sheet and the two arrows placed at the top.

    If you then need to copy one or more items to the clipboard, left click on them, press the menu Modification that stands at the top and choose Copy Selected Items. As for the copy of passwords only, you have to press on instead Copy Password Selected. You can also succeed in your intent by using the buttons that you find on the toolbar of the program.

    Keychain Access (macOS)

    Are you using a Mac? In this case you can decrypt the passwords without necessarily having to resort to the use of third-party tools. In fact, you just need to take advantage of the "standard" application Portachiavi access which allows you to store your passwords and account information and to view this data if necessary. The only thing to consider is that to view what is reported under the asterisks you need to type the password for the reference user account on macOS.

    You ask me how to use it for your purpose? I'll point it out to you right away. First, launch Keychain Access by selecting its icon (the one with the keys) from the folder Other of Launchpad.

    In the window that will then open on the desktop, select the reference category in the left sidebar and the item Password then locate the name of the service or resource you are interested in and double-click on it. If necessary, you can help with the search field at the top right.

    In the further window that will be shown to you, check the box corresponding to the wording Show the password which is at the bottom, type the password for your user account on macOS in the new window that opens and presses on OK. If prompted, type your macOS username and password again and click the button Allow. Once this is done, you will finally be able to view the access key of your interest in the appropriate field.

    If you want, you can copy the revealed password to the Mac clipboard by double clicking on it and using the key combination cmd + c. You can then glue it where necessary using the combination cmd + v.

    ShowPassword (Chrome)

    Do you need to crack the passwords you have saved in Google Chrome and don't know how to do it? If so, I encourage you to put the extension to the test Showpassword. It is in fact an add-on for the big G browser that allows you to view all the access keys that are hidden behind asterisks that have been saved in the famous browser simply by placing the pointer over them.

    To use it, first connect to the page dedicated to the extension on the Chrome Web Store then press the button + Add and confirm your willingness to install the add-on by pressing the button Add extension.

    Then go to the web page for which you have saved the access data in the browser and whose password you are interested in decrypting, place the pointer on the asterisks and the relative access key will be immediately shown to you. Easier than that?

    If you want, you can also adjust the extension settings and define after how long to display the password or what alternative actions to take to view your access keys. To do this, click on the ShowPassord icon (the one with the asterisks and the pointer) on the Chrome toolbar, select the item options from the menu that appears and intervene using the new tab that will open.

    Show me the password! (Firefox)

    Do you use Firefox and need to decrypt the passwords saved in the "red panda" browser? Then turn to Show me the password!. It is an add-on for the popular browser which, similar to the above extension for Chrome, shows the passwords hidden under the asterisks that have been saved in the browser with a simple click.

    To use it, connect to the web page dedicated to the add-on using Firefox. Then click on the button Aggiungi to Firefox and confirm the installation of the extension by pressing on Install then press on OK.

    Now, go to the web page for which you have saved the access data in the browser and whose password you want to recover, presses the symbol ofeye that you see next to the dots and ... you can finally get the information you want so much. Et voila!

    If you want, you can also adjust the settings related to the add-on's operation by clicking on the button with the three lines horizontally in the Firefox toolbar, by pressing on the item Additional components in the menu that opens and on the button options placed next to the name of the extension. You can then define whether to make the passwords always visible, whether to do it only after the click etc.

    Useful tools for storing and managing passwords

    To conclude, as they say, I want to point out some software and services that I think you do well to take into consideration to avoid having to decrypt passwords using the tools mentioned above, due to any forgetfulness.

    It's a matter of password managers, tools nowadays indispensable for filing, storing and managing access keys to online services, programs and so on. Listed below are the ones that I believe are the best in the category.

    • 1Password - Famous program (and app for mobile devices) to save and manage passwords. Access keys aside, it also offers 1GB for any documents to attach. It also includes a two-factor authentication system for a greater degree of protection and security. It is free to download but to use the service you have to subscribe for an annual subscription.
    • RoboForm - Excellent password manager usable in the form of software (as well as an app for mobile devices). You can use it at no cost but to activate the synchronization between devices you need to subscribe to an ad hoc subscription.
    • LastPass - Another famous and appreciated service for storing and managing passwords. It can be used as an extension for all popular browsers (as well as as an app for smartphones and tablets). All passwords are saved in the cloud, on the company's servers. It's free but you have to pay for some extra features.

    If you think you need more details about the aforementioned solutions and / or if you want to discover new ones, I invite you to read my post on how to remember passwords and my article focused on how to memorize passwords on the computer through which I face the question in great detail.

    How to crack passwords

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