The Picture Password used in Windows 8 machines are more vulnerable than Microsoft hoped, a research team claims. The Picture Password is encrypted with the algorithms that can be turned back into the original plain-text password. As long as you can log on to Windows 8 with administrator privileges, you can break Windows 8 Picture Password security in no time. In this article we’ll show you how to crack Windows 8 Picture Password with the freeware Mimikatz.
How to Break Windows 8 Picture Password Security?
- Download the Mimikatz tool (mimikatz_trunk.zip) from Benjamin Delpy’s blog. Decompress the zip file and you’ll then find that the tool has both 32-bit and 64-bit versions – make sure you pick the correct version.
- Right-click on the Mimikatz.exe file and select Run as administrator from the context menu.
- You’ll be provided with an interactive prompt that allows you to perform a number of different commands. Firstly we’ll need to enable debug mode with the privilege::debug command:
- Next run the token::elevate command to elevate your privilege to NT Authority\SYSTEM.
- Execute the following command and it will quickly extract all types of plain-text passwords from Windows Vault, including Pin code, Picture Password and traditional text password.
If you use a Microsoft account to log on to Windows 8 and then switch to a Picture Password or a Pin, the Mimikatz tool will be able to dump your Microsoft account password as well. This is the first critical security flaw in Windows 8/8.1 that has already been discovered.
Forgot Windows 8 local account or Microsoft account password? How to reset the password so you can log back into your PC without data loss? There are basically two types of accounts that you can create in Windows 8: Local accounts and Microsoft account. In this guide, we’ll explain the differences between local account and Microsoft account, and provide an easy way to help you reset lost Windows 8 local account and Microsoft account password.
Local Account vs. Microsoft Account
A local account is just what we always used to log on to a Windows machine (if the computer is not a member of a Windows domain). All credentials for this account are stored only on the local computer. Your user profile is stored on your local computer only. This type of account has been around since the time of Windows 98.
A Microsoft account is a new logon option introduced in Windows 8, which allows you to sign in to your PC using an email account. The email account can be a hotmail/Microsoft live account or any other email account that you registered in Microsoft’s website. The credentials of Microsoft account are stored in Microsoft’s cloud and are locally cached, so you can also log on without an Internet connection. The user profile is accessible to other computers running Windows 8, provided you’ve logged on with your Microsoft account.
Reset Forgotten Windows 8 Local Account & Microsoft Account Password
The passwords of both local account and Microsoft account are stored in a SAM file which is usually located in the folder c:\windows\system32\config. Windows 8 stores the passwords in a hashed format (in LM hash and NTLM hash). Since a hash function is one-way, it is almost impossible to recover such passwords. However, you can reset the password easily and instantly.
Reset Windows Password utility is a recovery bootdisk which can run from a CD or USB drive and enables you to reset forgotten Windows 8 local account and Microsoft account password easily. The local account password will be blank/removed immediately so you can then log on your PC with a empty/blank password, while the Microsoft account password seems to be impossible to reset because it is stored online in Microsoft’s cloud. But as long as you can reset the Microsoft account password which is cached on your local computer, Windows 8 still allows you to sign in your PC, but without connecting to Microsoft’s cloud. Reset Windows Password utility can help you do this job perfectly so you can log back into your computer with a new Microsoft account password.
Forgot your Windows startup password? How to reset or remove it after forgotten? There are several types of startup passwords which could be used to protect a Windows computer: BIOS password, Syskey, Windows user account password. After setting up one of these startup passwords, the computer will prompt you to enter your password each time you start up.
Tired of entering the startup password every time you boot your PC? Or simple forgot your startup password? This article will introduce you to all common options for you to remove Windows startup password.
BIOS is the first program that runs when your computer starts. You can tell the BIOS to ask for a password when it starts, thus restricting access to your computer. BIOS passwords can be added extra layer of security for desktop and laptop computers, and are used to either prevent a user from changing the BIOS settings or to prevent the PC from booting without a password.
Forgetting your BIOS password can lock up the hardware and make the computer completely unusable. Fortunately there are a few known backdoors and software that can be used to bypass or reset the BIOS password on most systems. The BIOS password on desktop computer can be reset by removing the CMOS battery for a few minutes. However, laptop BIOS passwords are stored in a special chip on the motherboard and the only way to recover this password is to using BIOS password cracking utility. Have a look at this article:Recover BIOS/CMOS Password Using Free CMOSPwd Utility.
As we all know, the Security Accounts Manager (SAM) database has been used by Windows to store password hashes for local user accounts. To make the hashes harder to decrypt, Microsoft introduced SysKey password, an additional layer of obfuscation SysKey which can be enabled in Windows using the SysKey utility. To learn how to enable Syskey, please refer to this article: How to Lock Your Computer with Syskey.
Syskey password can be helpful to prevent hackers from cracking Windows user password. There are no reliable tools that will help brute forcing Syskey password. The Offline NT Password & Registry Editor claims that it can help you disable Syskey startup password but I’ve tried it with no luck. After forgetting your Syskey password, the only feasible option is to do a system restore using a restore point dated before SysKey password was set, or reinstall the operating system.
Windows User Password
Have you ever been locked out of your computer by a forgotten Windows user password? There’s no need to get frustrated. It is relatively easy to bypass this safeguard. Reset Windows Password utility is the well-known software which enables you to remove Windows admin/user password easily by creating a password removal Live CD/USB. It works with almost all versions of Windows, including the latest Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012.
SeaMonkey is not only a great web browser but also a fully featured and powerful email client. Just like other browser SeaMonkey has also the feature which allows you to save and store password on browser to auto login your favorite websites. If you forgot your logins and passwords in SeaMonkey, you can recover them easily with Firefox Password Recovery program.
Firefox Password Recovery program enables you to recover website logins and email account passwords from SeaMonkey’s password manager. This should be useful in the event that your SeaMonkey browser is crashed or you simply forget your passwords. Let’s go ahead!
How to Recover Passwords Stored in SeaMonkey?
- Download and install Firefox Password Recovery program on your local computer.
- After installing, launch Firefox Password Recovery program.
- Click on Start Recovery button, it will show a list of recovery options from the drop-down menu.
- Choose the Recover SeaMonkey Password option, the program automatically finds the user profiles of SeaMonkey and decrypts all the logins and passwords saved in SeaMonkey application.
Firefox Password Recovery program is very easy to use with user-friendly interface without requiring any advanced technical know how. It also allows you to save your logins and passwords to a file or clipboard. So from now there is no need to fear about losing SeaMonkey passwords! With Firefox Password Recovery program you can recover SeaMonkey password quickly and easily!
Forgot Windows 8 administrator password? How to regain access to your locked computer? At that time the only solution that comes into our mind is to reformat the hard drive, and reinstall windows. This is not the answer you will get here, I work in a software company and resetting Windows passwords is a task we do everyday, so today I will share with you how to hack Windows 8 password without data loss – the easy way. let’s proceed.
How to Hack Windows 8 Password without Data Loss?
Reset Windows Password utility is one of the more effective password hack tools that runs on a Live CD, and it can be used to hack almost any Windows password, including Windows 8 local/Microsoft account password.
- To get started, purchase the Reset Windows Password utility and download it onto your current computer. Unzip the download file and you’ll get the ResetWindowsPwd.iso file which contains the password hacking tool.
- Next, you need to turn that ISO file into a CD. All you need to do is get a CD/DVD burning program such as BurnCDCC or ImgBurn, which allows you to burn an ISO image to CD or DVD easily! If your computer doesn’t come with a CD/DVD burner, you can use the ISO2Disc program to burn a Windows password reset USB from that ISO image.
- Take the CD you just created to the computer you want to hack. Insert the CD into the CD drive and turn on the computer. Normally, the BIOS screen tells you the keyboard key you need to press to change the boot order, watch for that message! On most computers the BIOS key is Del, F9 or F12 but yours might be different, so watch out for that on the boot-up menu.
- Once you boot from the CD, it will load the miniature operating system and open the Reset Windows Password utility. This program automatically detect all Windows installations on your computer, and shows a list of user accounts existing in your Windows SAM registry hive.
- Choose the user account which you want to hack and click on “Reset Password” button. It will blank your Windows 8 password immediately just as there is no password set on that user account. Remove the CD from the CD drive and restart the computer, you can then log into that user account with an empty password. Done!
So, in this way you can hack the password of any Windows 8 account at times when you forget it so that you don’t need to re-install your OS for any reason. I hope this helps.
Locked out of Windows 8? Forgot your Windows 8 password of local administrator account or Windows Live account? There are always situations where we are locked out of the computer and need to find a way to get back into Windows. In this tutorial we’ll show you how to easily unlock Windows 8 computer in case the administrator account is locked out or disabled, or you simply forgot Windows 8 password.
Reset Windows Password is the all-in-one password recovery bootdisk which can deal with all of the password problems described above which cause you get locked out of Windows 8 computer. Follow the simple steps and you can unlock Windows 8 user account in minutes.
1. Create A Password Unlocker Boot CD/USB
- Click here to download and save the Reset Windows Password self-extracting Zip file to an alternative computer, then extract the ISO image file: ResetWindowsPwd.iso from it.
- Insert a blank CD/DVD or USB flash drive into the computer.
- Download and install the ISO2Disc utility, launch the program.
- Click the Browse button to locate your ISO image file, then click the Start Burn button to burn the ISO image to your CD/DVD or USB flash drive.
2. Change BIOS Settings
- Boot your Windows 8 computer. When it is powered on, check the boot-screen for setup key (i.e. DELETE key, F8 key, F2 key) to enter BIOS Setup Utility.
- Use the arrow keys to select the BOOT tab, then change the Boot Device Priority: Set 1st Boot Device to CDROM if you just created a bootable CD or DVD, or set 1st Boot Device to Removable Device if a bootable USB flash drive was created.
- Press F10 to save your changes. Now your computer is able to boot from CD/DVD or USB flash drive.
3. Unlock Windows 8 User Account
- Insert the newly burned CD/DVD or USB flash drive to your Windows 8 computer, then reboot your computer.
- Now the computer will boot from the password unlocker CD/USB. Wait until the boot process is finished, you’ll see the main window of Reset Windows Password utility.
- Select a user account and then click the Reset Password button. The program will reset your forgotten password and also automatically unlock/enable the user account when it was locked out or disabled.
- Click the Restart button to reboot the computer and remove the password unlocker CD/USB, you can then log into your Windows 8 user account without any hassle.
If you forgot Microsoft account password, just select the local user account which is linked to your Windows Live account and it will unlock both your local account and Microsoft account. Having such a password unlocker CD/USB at hand can be a life saver if your system refuses you to login in case you forgot Windows 8 password or your user account gets locked out accidentally.
When switching from old Windows version to the latest Windows 8 operating system, many computer users might feel a little lost at first. I also realize that many of you are having a difficult time adjusting to the Metro UI interface. The best way to learn how to get around the new Metro UI is to use the new Windows 8 keyboard shortcuts. It allows you to navigate around the new operating system quickly and efficiently.
This guide will show you the 20 most useful new keyboard shortcuts to improve your Windows 8 experience.
Windows key + C: All charms
Windows key + Q: Search charm
Windows key + H: Share charm
Windows key: Start charm
Windows key + K: Devices charm
Windows key + I: Settings charm
Windows key + W: Search settings
Windows key + F: Search files
Windows key + Z: Get to app options
Windows key + .: Snap app to the left
Windows key + Shift+.: Snap app to the right
Windows key + D: Open desktop
Windows key + ,: Peek at desktop
Windows key + B: Back to desktop
Windows key + X: Open system utility settings menu
Windows key + PrtSc: Take screenshot and save to Pictures
Windows key + Tab: Open switch list
Windows key + T: Preview open windows in taskbar
Windows key + U: Open Ease of Access Center
Windows key + Enter: Open Windows Narrator
What if you forget the password of your Windows or you need to remove Windows password for other purpose? Just got a Windows password remover utility, a professional Windows password recovery software to remove lost Windows administrator and user passwords easily. No need to reinstall Windows.
There are many ways of removing forgotten Windows password out there, but most of them are so painful and ineffective, or too technical for most computer users to follow. Here I’ll show you the simplest and effective way to help you remove Windows password on any Windows system, including Windows 8/7/Vista/XP/2008/2003/2000. Reset Windows Password utility is the Windows password remover tool we’ll use to create a bootable CD/USB for password removal. Let’s see the detail instructions.
How to Remover Windows Password with Windows Password Remover Utility?
To get started, you need to find another computer to create a Windows password removal CD or USB drive, then you can use the CD or USB drive to boot the computer whose password you want to remove.
- Download the Reset Windows Password utility. Unzip the download file, you’ll see the ISO image file: ResetWindowsPwd.iso.
- Burn that ISO image to a blank CD or DVD using whatever burning software you prefer, such as BurnCDCC. If your computer doesn’t come with a CD/DVD recorder, you can burn the ISO image to a USB flash drive with ISO2Disc.
- Insert the CD or USB drive you’ve just created into the computer whose password you’re going to remove. Set the computer to boot from the CD or USB drive.
- When the computer is configured correctly, it will load the operating system inside the CD or USB drive, and launch the Reset Windows Passwordutility.
- From the screen of Reset Windows Password utility, you can see the Windows SAM registry hives detected on your hard drive. Choose one of your Windows SAM registry hives from the drop-down list, the program will show a list of Windows user accounts for your Windows installation.
- Select your desired user account and then click Reset Password button. It will remove your forgotten Windows password in no time.
Now take out the Windows password removal CD or USB drive. Restart the computer and at the logon screen, click your user account and leave the password box blank, you can then log in to your computer without any hassle. Windows password remover tool makes it incredibly easy to remove your forgotten Windows login password!
Forgetting Windows password isn’t just embarrassing, it also makes you lose all access to your computer files all of a sudden. Things can get even worse if you have no idea how to recover the password but you need to use the computer urgently. Luckily there are some Windows password recovery freeware which can help you get out of such situation. Here is a list of 5 best free Windows password recovery tools that will help you recover forgotten Windows administrator or other user passwords.
Ophcrack is the wonderful free tool to recover forgotten Windows password. It’s very easy to use Ophcrack software, Ophcrack support Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7. Just download Ophcrack ISO image from its official website and burn it to a CD and boot from the CD, well this amazing tool automatically starts locating your user account and proceed to recover your password.
2. John The Ripper
John The Ripper is a fast password cracker based on dictionary attack with a wordlist currently available for many flavors of Unix (11 are officially supported, not counting different architectures), Windows, DOS, BeOS, and OpenVMS. Its primary purpose is to detect weak Unix passwords. Besides several crypt(3) password hash types most commonly found on various Unix flavors, supported out of the box are Kerberos AFS and Windows NT/2000/XP/2003 LM hashes, plus several more with contributed patches.
3. Cain & Able
Cain & Able is a fast, free and effective Windows password recovery utility. Cain & Able requires administrator account access to Windows. You need to log in your system with admin account to install this tool. You also need to download rainbow tables to work with this tool. This tool is only working on Windows XP operating system.
LCP is yet another free 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, meaning you’ll need access to a user account on the computer. LCP can be a little intimidating to those new to Windows password recovery tools so some prior knowledge is very helpful to avoid even bigger problems with your PC.
5. Knoppix STD
G4TV has a good article on another Linux distro you can download and use to crack your Windows password. Follow the detailed instructions he gives and if the password is not too long or difficult, it should be able to crack it!
There free Windows password recovery tools might be a little too techie for some people, but it’s definitely worth it if you want to recover Windows password for free. If you are not tech savvy, it’s recommended to use the paid option – Reset Windows Password, which allows you to instantly reset forgotten Windows 8/7/Vista/XP password by creating a bootable password reset CD/USB.
As is known to all, a strong Windows password is key to computer security. In view of it, some users set an extremely complicated Windows password consisting of various numbers, characters and symbols. It will greatly improve the system security without doubt. But if the user has bad memory, the complex Windows password can be easily forgotten. At that time, one has to seek for methods to perform Windows password recovery.
Have you tried some methods to remember your Windows password? Never write your password on a sticky note plastered to a desk or monitor. If you are easy to forget Windows password, you can make full of features in Widows: set a password hint to help you recover your Windows password, and create a password reset disk to reset Windows password if your password is forgotten or lost.
Windows password Hint
Some systems, like Windows 8, 7, Vista and XP, allow you to create a password hint so that you can get some clues to remember your forgotten Windows password. It can be easily created a password hint when you set a Windows password to log on to computer. Please note if your computer is on domain, you cannot create a password hint. You can right-click My Computer to select Property, and then choose Computer Name to check if your computer is on domain.
The Windows password hint should be something that can help you remember a lost Windows password while it will not leak your Windows password. It appears below the password entry box, after you make an incorrect entry and then click OK. Never set the Windows password as your password hint as everyone is able to see your password hint.
Windows Password Reset Disk
If you don’t like the password hint, you can create a Windows password reset disk. It will help you reset Windows password easily if your computer is locked.
Step 1: Click Start button, Control Panel, User Accounts and Family Safety and User Accounts.
Step 2: Click Create a password reset disk in the left pane.
Step 3: The Forgotten Password Wizard will open, insert a USB flash drive and then click Next.
Step 4: Select the portable media drive which you want to create a password reset disk on, and then click Next.
Step 5: Enter your current password, and then click Next
Step 6: Click Next when the progress indicator shows 100% complete, and then click Finish in the next window.
Once the Windows password reset disk is created, it can be repeatedly used to reset Windows 8 password without limitation. If it falls into hands of others, he or she will be able to enter your computer by performing Windows password recovery with the disk. So please store your password disk in a safe place.
Windows Password Tips:
With the development of technology, you can not only set a Windows password composed of letters, numbers and symbols, but also create a password with fingerprint. If you are a Window 7 user, you can enable fingerprint logon.
If you forgot Windows password and don’t have a password disk, you can resort to Windows Password Recovery software like Password Recovery Bundle 2012. It allows you to reset Windows password by burning a bootable CD/DVD or USB flash drive in 5 minutes.