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Using Excel to Check Password Strength

Posted on 2010-08-16
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Last Modified: 2013-11-08
I'm conducting a research project to examine various individual characteristics and their relationship with password strength.  I currently have an Excel spreadsheet containing a fairly large list of passwords in Column A.  I've managed to put together formulas to do most of what I need, but there are a few tripping me up.

I'd like to be able to add additional columns to assess the following:

B) Does the password in Column A contain any uppercase characters?
C) How many uppercase characters does it contain?
D) Does the password in Column A contain any lowercase characters?
E) How many lowercase characters does it contain?
F) Does the password in Column A contain any numbers?
G) How many numbers does it contain?
H) Does the password in Column A contain any special (non-alphanumeric) characters?
I) How many special characters does it contain?
J) If numbers are used, is Column A simply a dictionary word followed by a number?

and perhaps most tricky -

K) Does the password in Column A contain any dictionary words?

I am also open to using another method to get all of this information into a datafile - I have access to Windows and Linux systems.  I thought there might be an automatic checker of some sort (I was led to a program called l0phtcrack?) but haven't found anything that will develop a derivative dataset from a large set of passwords.

Also, if there's any standard way to assess password strength (and produce a number quantifying that strength), that would be super-helpful.

Help, experts?
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Question by:richdiesal
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LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:slemmesmi
ID: 33452307
Dear richdiesal,

check out the free Excel based "Lock IT Down" "Generate random password" http://articles.techrepublic.com.com/5100-10878_11-1032050.html which should answer you questions.

Kind regards,
Soren

P.S. There are plenty more on the Internet, just google those.
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LVL 9

Author Comment

by:richdiesal
ID: 33456221
Hi slemmesmi -

I don't need a password generator.  I already have a list of passwords and need to quantitatively determine their relative strength to one another.
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Accepted Solution

by:
rbgCODE earned 500 total points
ID: 33459298
Why dont you write a VBA function that checks the actual password strength?  
http://www.codeforexcelandoutlook.com/excel-vba/password-strength-checker/
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LVL 9

Author Comment

by:richdiesal
ID: 33459740
That's much closer!  That addresses most of what I'm looking for - but I still need to check for dictionary words contained within.
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LVL 9

Author Closing Comment

by:richdiesal
ID: 33460258
Actually, it did contain information on dictionary word checks!  Should have read more closely the first time.  Thanks!
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