2013/9/11 Tom Davies <firstname.lastname@example.org>
You can always try opening it with MS Office.
I have opened password protected MS files in LibreOffice without even
being asked to type in a password. I have been told the other way around
works too. Both programs use different systems for password protection.
Another way might be to copy the file and then rename the file-ending to
.zip and then you should be able to poke around inside the coding of the
file. I've not looked at a Calc file that way so i am not sure whether a
text-editor could help recover the information from "contents.xml". Also i
am not sure if there is a single element that could be deleted to remove
the password protection.
Unfortunately, while it's true that old mso formats used "password
protection" as a simple access management tool, recent version (think docX)
and libreoffice files *do* encrypt the files.
Opening the file as a zip file will only yield ciphered files, except for
the mimetype one, which is not very useful.
Most security is more likely to hamper legitimate users than really slow
down a determined cracker. Encryption is a classic at being more often
responsible for losing crucial or private data.
If done correctly, the "slow down" part would grow into many years. That's
the point of encryption, since a bruteforce attack is always possible with
every cryptosystems :-)
However, you're right; for most people this option is more like a trap if
it is not part of a greater document management system that does take care
of the details like password, keys, and allow for some kind of recovery.
Maybe there should be a warning box that explicitely state that the
document will be lost if the password is lost.
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