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vi key encryption recovery

Posted on 1997-03-04
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Last Modified: 2013-12-26
I am using HP-UX. I have encrypted my text file with vi. I don't know the key. I have root access. how can I recover the file without the key? Help!
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Question by:aburke
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Author Comment

by:aburke
ID: 1292316
Edited text of question
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Expert Comment

by:jos010697
ID: 1292317
There's (almiost) no way you can decrypt the contents of
your file if you don't have the key. You're vi session is
probably not running anymore, but in the unlikely event
that it is, check your /tmp directory; vi leaves its internal
buffers there, containing most of the orginal contents of
your file.

BTW, didn't your sysadm make backups lately?

kind regards (and lots of success)

Jos aka jos@and.nl
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Author Comment

by:aburke
ID: 1292318
Backup is not an option. The file was created over one day. I got the "CBW" = "Crypt Breakers Workbench" code but havn't had time to attempt to compile it. I here it may not work on modern platforms. Any other options ?
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:jos010697
ID: 1292319
No, I'm sorry. Like I said, without a brute force (and I mean
_brute_ force) exhaustive search it's next to impossible
to break the encryption code ...

Maybe hypnosis could make you remember the password? ;-)

I'm sorry I can't help you out on this one.

Jos aka jos@and.nl
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:pc012197
ID: 1292320
I didn't even know vi could encrypt stuff. Is there any documentation on that feature on the web? Since vi is freely exportable (maybe not HP's?) its encryption must be easy to break.
I have used CBW before (for experiments only), it works for the typical unix 'crypt (1)' command, but not for DES like in crypt(3).

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Author Comment

by:aburke
ID: 1292321
Vi can encryt stuff. do a captial 'X' at the command line promt and it will ask you for a "key:" (password).

I've been talking(email) to some seriously heavy encryption experts and they say vi's encryption is week and CWB will break it. All I need is some time to compile and learn and stuff. All the resources of the world yet no time. Life is too short.

Anyway, originally I was hoping someone would say "download this...run...and done!" but nope. Nothing worth having is easy to get.

I'm gonna try CWB and see what happens late next week. I'll post and let you guys know what happend. Thanks for your time.
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Author Comment

by:aburke
ID: 1292322
Oh yeah! it was a finger fumble that created this problem. That's why I don't know the password.
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Author Comment

by:aburke
ID: 1292323
How do I close this question and rate the answer ? I can't seem to get there from here.
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Accepted Solution

by:
jos010697 earned 600 total points
ID: 1292324
I have no idea, but since nobody really answered your
question, why not 'answer' it yourself and rate it anything
you want. At least this thread would be closed ...

I know, I know it's a dirty trick, but I'm an animal ;-)

kind regards,

Jos
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Expert Comment

by:jos010697
ID: 1292325
Woops, that was supposed a comment; rate me an F! ;-)

Jos
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