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How good is password protection in Excel?
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vmottert
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How good is password protection in Excel?

I see that there is software available on the internet that will try to unprotect worksheets and workbooks. Anyone know how well these work? Are any so good that it can find any password no matter how long or complex?

Thanks,

Vernon

Post Sun Sep 21, 2003 12:26 am 
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tbardoni
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Re: How good is password protection in Excel?

I could unlock your sheets in about 60 seconds no matter what your password is.

How's that for ya?
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Post Sun Sep 21, 2003 12:27 am 
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vmottert
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Re: How good is password protection in Excel?

It stinks, tbardoni icon_eek.gif Care to tell me how or what you would use to do it?

Vernon

Post Sun Sep 21, 2003 12:37 am 
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tbardoni
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Re: How good is password protection in Excel?

You can unlock the sheets with a little bit of VBA coding. Do a search of this board and you will find plenty of code to unlock sheets and/or workbooks.

Now, let me say that to Unlock a workbook for viewing is quite a bit more difficult, but still doable by the more seasoned programmers.

Microsoft never claimed or intended Excel to be a secure environment.
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Post Sun Sep 21, 2003 12:47 am 
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Iridium
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Re: How good is password protection in Excel?

Some background

http://j-walk.com/ss/excel/usertips/tip022.htm
http://j-walk.com/ss/excel/faqs/protectionFAQ.htm

HTH
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Post Sun Sep 21, 2003 9:07 am 
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tbardoni
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Re: How good is password protection in Excel?

Update: OP sent me a workbook with a password protected worksheet challenging me to unlock it. I did so in just over one minute as I originally claimed above using code I found on this board.
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Post Sun Sep 21, 2003 11:32 am 
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XL-Dennis
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Re: How good is password protection in Excel?

Hi guys,

TBardoni - Did You assure Yourself that the OP is the owner of the workbook You helped with icon_eek2.gif

You needed so much time icon_eek.gif

Yes, all softwares in MS Office, no matter which version, have weak secuirty.

We can argue for a stronger security but on the other hand MS Office is an "open" plattform allowing us to exchange data between the programs as well with others.

The way MS is trying to solve the security-issue in MS Outlook points out the difficulties they have to secure and at the same time keep Outlook open as much as possible.

..and when they really doing their job people tend to mail issues like "How can I avoid.... , create a workaround for the security..."

Catch 22...

From my own experience most of the end-users don┤t even know how to protect a sheet or a workbook and are not at all aware of VBA and the VB-editor.

If You want to secure Your work to 100 % the only recommendation is to avoid softwares icon_mrgreen.gif

BTW, keep in mind that there are people trying to make an income by providing solutions with MS Excel.

Kind regards,
Dennis
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Post Sun Sep 21, 2003 11:47 am 
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tbardoni
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Re: How good is password protection in Excel?

The workbook the OP sent was empty, except for a message in a cell asking me to unlock it.

As for taking over 1 minute, as I said, I used code from this board, not my own code, to prove that ANYONE can unlock sheets/workbooks.
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Post Sun Sep 21, 2003 11:52 am 
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Iridium
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Re: How good is password protection in Excel?

Workbook and worksheet protection is really only to prevent accidental changes rather than being for security - the password protection on opening the file is much better though. As tbardoni says there's code widely available for w/s and w/b password removal and even an add-in here:

http://www.straxx.com/excel/password.html
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Post Sun Sep 21, 2003 11:59 am 
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TryingToLearn
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Re: How good is password protection in Excel?

The ever curious mind envisions this workaround:

On the first worksheet of the workbook have A1 unprotected.

Create a VBA routine that would check for a particular value in A1 ONLY IF the sheet or book is NOT protected. If the correct value is not present delete the data in the workbook. Net result, you must put in your secret code before unprotecting the sheet or it goes POOF!

Possible?
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Post Mon Sep 22, 2003 10:50 pm 
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GaryB
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I don't doubt possible- but rather easy to get round by disabling macros on opening.

GaryB

Post Mon Sep 22, 2003 11:13 pm 
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tbardoni
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quote:
Originally posted by GaryB:
I don't doubt possible- but rather easy to get round by disabling macros on opening.

GaryB


Ah, but, set the sheet property to VeryHidden then create a Workbook_Open event to unhide the worksheet. If macros are turned off, then the sheet will remain VeryHidden.
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Post Sat Oct 04, 2003 5:59 pm 
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NateO
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Re: How good is password protection in Excel?

With all due respect, so what?

Lock down the project in the VBE as well, or you can flip this quite quickly.

If you know what you're after, open a 2nd workbook and try the following:

Sub test()
Workbooks(1).Sheets(1).Visible = True
End Sub

You'd have to unprotect the workbook first, but shouldn't be to bad. You could loop through the sheets and test the properties to find what you were looking for...
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Post Sat Oct 04, 2003 6:32 pm 
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