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Date: Wed, 23 Oct 2013 19:19:35 +0100 (BST)
From: Hurgel Bumpf <>
To: "" <>
Subject: Microsoft Word Protect Document Password Feature

Hi List,

i had to unlock a password protected word template today. It was protected against modification (not the access protection)

So i thought i might share these simple steps to unlock such documents.

A feature of word documents is, that they are some kind of zip files with a different extenstion. 

When you unzip these files you get a lot of folders/files likeĀ 

word <-- the main files

in the folder "word" you will find a settings.xml, when you open it look for the tag <w:documentProtection

It will look similar to this:

<w:documentProtection w:edit="forms" w:enforcement="1" w:cryptProviderType="rsaFull" w:cryptAlgorithmClass="hash" w:cryptAlgorithmType="typeAny" w:cryptAlgorithmSid="4" w:cryptSpinCount="100000" w:hash="dawdadaw4324aw2dascas=" w:salt="sdf+sdfdsf/WA=="/>

delete that tag. Replace the settings.xml in the zip. save and rename to .dotx/.doc/.whatever again. 

That's it, the document is unlocked. 

I mean, they are even using salted hashes and all you need to do is delete the line. Like its 1998. Impressive. 

Have a nice day,

Conan the Bavarian

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