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Excel Worksheet Protection

Posted on 2011-03-05
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I like to know how hard it is to crack a password that is used to protect the VB Project. i.e. if you open Visual Basic Editor and if there is a password to protect the editor so that you can't open the VB Project.
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Question by:hpjethwa
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by:SiddharthRout
ID: 35044150
It is very easy. :)

VBA protection in MS Office was never too hard to crack.

Sid
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by:Zack Barresse
ID: 35044832
Tools (free) + Knowledge (free) = 30-60 seconds.  VERY EASY.
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by:hpjethwa
ID: 35045142
Ok guys I got the point. Any substitute to Excel?
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by:SiddharthRout
ID: 35046698
What do you exactly want to do?

Sid
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by:Zack Barresse
ID: 35046816
Exactly.  It depends on what you are trying to do.  Assuming you are using Excel's OM for a reason, I'm assuming this is an Excel-based solution of sorts.  If you want to protect your code there, you'll need one of the higher-end programming software suites.  I.e. Visual Basic Express (I think it's still a free download), VSTO, Visual Studio, etc.

A product I know little about, but makes some good looking addins is add-in-express.com.  Again, not really sure what you are wanting to do, as your question is fairly ambiguous.
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by:gowflow
ID: 35046868
firefytr: you hv a name for your .. tools(free) presume its a pgm that cracks passwods ? Reding the threads am concerned if someone is cracking my 100's xls that are used in a large co (some 200 employees) what would be the software I should look for that are sitting on pc that could be comprimising ?
gowflow
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by:SiddharthRout
ID: 35046873
gowflow: You don't need a software to crack vba passwords. A simple hex editor will do :)

Sid
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by:Zack Barresse
ID: 35046883
Isn't a hex editor, software? ;)
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by:gowflow
ID: 35046885
oh ic.
gowflow
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by:Zack Barresse
ID: 35046887
And yes, a hex editor can exploit security vulnerabilities in Office products.  You can also use standard VBA code to get rid of some of the worksheet passwords as well.
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by:SiddharthRout
ID: 35046892
Yes Zack. It is :) I meant a Password Cracking Software like Elcomsoft's VBA Password Recovery Tool.

Hex Editor is not a Password Cracking Software.

Sid

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by:Zack Barresse
ID: 35046905
If you're worried that someone is cracking your code (and I have no idea the scope or purpose of your code either) then I would think about going to a higher-end programming solution.  Hard to say without knowing more though.

Most people won't be able to crack VBA Project passwords.  Just putting a password on it is going to keep 99% of all users out of your project.
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by:gowflow
ID: 35046941
Well then you are giving conflicting info here. The asker asked:
I like to know how hard it is to crack a password that is used to protect the VB Project.
and all you answers were ... VERY EASY !!!!

now you comeup with an other statement:
Most people won't be able to crack VBA Project passwords.  Just putting a password on it is going to keep 99% of all users out of your project.

So presume your answer to the asker should be more like the latter and not as previous threads.
I hope it is clearer for hpjethwa as honestly you got me suspecious with your very easy ... piece of cake !

gowflow
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by:Zack Barresse
ID: 35046960
It is VERY EASY to crack the password.  Like I said, with the right software (i.e. hex editor, commercial software) and the knowledge, it is very easy.  So yes, for the 1% of people who have both the tools and the know-how, it is extremely easy to strip passwords from files.  I don't see anything conflicting about that at all.  The latter point is that most people will not have both of those things.  Most people will not be able to get the passwords off of it.  This certainly does not mean that it's safe by any means.
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by:gowflow
ID: 35046974
Well when you put it this way yes its clear that only 1% of people or less could and for the asker I guess the point is much clearer now.
gowlfow
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by:hpjethwa
ID: 35051132
Thankyou gowflow. I got the answer... that is to date VBproject passwrd is not completely safe.
I was trying to sell my worksheet via Licensing software, whereby the client can open the worksheet only on his PC. If it is copied to another PC it will just not open. Pretty sleek software. But then again if the client can open the worksheet on his PC then he can go into VB editor. If the external hex editor get to work on it then chances are the client could break the password protection. Only if the VB Editor toolbar is not available to the clent then he can't open the editor. So my question is ....is there such a software that could hide the vb menu altogether? If so, would it provide strong protection. Secondly is there such a software that can prvent hacking into the Folder that contains the excel file?
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by:SiddharthRout
ID: 35051154
My suggestion would be to convert it to a COM Add-In and then distribute it.

Sid
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by:Zack Barresse
ID: 35051576
It doesn't have anyhthing to do with not seeing the VBE toolbar(s), not even viewing the VBE.  You need to put your code into a more managed solution (i.e. the examples I already pointed out).  Sid's suggestion of a COM add-in is one way of doing that.  Using VB, VB.NET, VSTO, VS (i.e. C#/++, etc) you can accomplish what you are asking.  Although, if you are not familiar with a higher end programming application/language, I would recommend you just take the easy way and hire someone to do it.  I'm sure you could learn how to do it on your own, especially if you are extremely fluent in the Excel OM, but if you are not, I would not recommend trying (unless you have a few years to try it with).

Zack
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by:hpjethwa
ID: 35053172
So with COM add-in, the VBA and therefore the worksheet is solidly protected? 100% ?
 
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by:hpjethwa
ID: 35053234
Sudharth,
How can we convert an xls to COM -add in? Can you explain what is COM-add in and how it works?
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Zack Barresse earned 500 total points
ID: 35053371
Okay, some certainties in life: we will all die, and no code is 100% secure.  With a COM add-in, it would jump from 99% secure to 99.99% secure.  There are those who can reverse engineer a program, but it's very difficult.  But yes, a COM add-in would make your solution much more secure than what a traditional VBA Project password would.

To learn about COM add-ins, I would recommend you do an online search.  A simple search for "make a com add-in" came up with these results...

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa140195%28office.10%29.aspx
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa650778%28v=vs.71%29.aspx

I'm sure you could find others, but there are literally dozens of resources out there.

Zack
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by:SiddharthRout
ID: 35104899
Sorry, I missed your thread.

But how is the above post an answer to your main question?

>>>like to know how hard it is to crack a password that is used to protect the VB Project.

I think I answered your question way back in ID: 35044150 (The first post). The post above is just an answer to your 2nd question and not the main question.

Sid
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by:Zack Barresse
ID: 35104901
@hpjethwa: if you want to give Sid the points, it doesn't matter to me.  :)

Zack
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by:SiddharthRout
ID: 35104908
Zack: It's not about points :)

Sid
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by:SiddharthRout
ID: 35104914
It's about acknowledging :) Had it been about points, I would have already raised an objection. :)

Sid
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by:Zack Barresse
ID: 35104925
Well, I acknowledge your answer.  ;)  :)

Zack
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by:SiddharthRout
ID: 35104927
Fair enough. Matter closed :)

Sid
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