Where is AIM password stored?

Posted on 2006-06-06
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-06-22
I am about to do a data recovery job for a client.  The laptop has a failed HD and can't boot into Windows.  They use AIM but can't remember their password so would like me to somehow save it.  Is it contained in a cookie or some other file and where is it?  Or, does anyone have any other ideas?  Thank you.
Question by:marathonman330
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Expert Comment

ID: 16843403
Greetings, marathonman330 !


1. The easiest way to recover an AIM password is to visit the AOL Lost Your Password? page.

To use this page, enter your AOL screen name and AOL will e-mail your AIM password to the e-mail account associated with it.

If you no longer have access to the e-mail account associated with the screen name, AOL will refuse to assist you.

For AOL subscribers only: If your AIM screen name is also your AOL screen name, you can reset your AIM password at Keyword: AIM Password.

2. Registry: AIM clients before 4.8 stored the AIM password in the Windows registry. For AIM clients before 4.8, password recovery was possible simply by reading the Windows registry.

Starting with version 4.8, the AIM client only stores a hash of the AIM password in the registry. Because of this, AIM password recovery from the registry is not possible with AIM client 4.8 or higher.

Several programs, with widely varying capabilities, are available to help you recover a lost AIM password from an older revision of the AIM client:

    * Chat Recovery
    * Elcomsoft Advanced Instant messengers Password Recovery
    * AIM Password Recovery Toolkit

Best wishes!
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Expert Comment

by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 16844227
The AIM password is stored server side so there's no point installing password recovery software.
The AIM cookie just retains the User ID (Not the password) and the session cookie just confirms the logon credentials were accepted (but again does not contain the password itself)
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Author Comment

ID: 16847534
Could someone tell me where the IMs themselves are saved by default?  Thank you.
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Expert Comment

ID: 16847601

AIM registry is located in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\America Online\AOL Instant Messenger (TM)\CurrentVersion\
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Expert Comment

by:Mohammed Hamada
ID: 16848945
I probably think this is the location for the saved IMs, not sure, but if so then you will have to find away to decrypt them becoz they sure must be encrypted exactly as the yahoo archive..!

 C:\Program Files\Common Files\AOL\1149632636\ee\services\imApp\ver1_2_71\content
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Expert Comment

ID: 16877522

We have not heard from you in awhile. Did any comment help you solve your problem? Do you have any more question? If an Expert helped you, please accept his/her answer above with an excellent or good grade.

Thanks, war1
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Expert Comment

ID: 17123943
I answered all of marathonman questions.

Author Comment

ID: 17126061
We were never able to get the user's password.  They no longer have access to the email associated with the screen name.  Also, this was a situation where the hard drive was failing so we could not boot into Windows.  I was only able to access data on the drive by slaving it in another machine.  Thank you for trying to help.

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