Does Anyone know how to access a PDF with a password (When you dont have a password)

HI all,

I have a PDF i was left by a predecessor at work, however, he (in his infinite wisdom) has locked the document.

Does anyone know how to gain access to a password protected PDF without knowing the password

If you could easily get around the password, it would sort of defeat the point of having password protected PDFs in the first place. Long story short, it’s very difficult, if not impossible, to get past most PDF passwords.

That said, if it’s been done badly, you can sometimes upload it to Google Drive then open it there. Rarely works though.

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PDF is generally more secure than Office docs in my experience.

I’ve cracked a few word and excel files in my time…

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Seems an easy fix, but is it not possible to contact the predecessor or someone who sat above them in the business?

Where I’ve worked in the past use similar passwords to protect PDFs but just change the year (XXXX22, XXXX23, XXXX24).

Bloody love VBA for this

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Is this another one of those problem solving competitions for GCHQ…?

If you upload the PDF to a Google Drive, sometimes the file viewer will allow you to bypass the encryption.

Doesn’t always work, but worth a shot. Should also be noteworthy for anyone who stores PDFs on their Google Drives…

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Essentially it’s going to be a pain. with PDF’s the password actually means it isn’t really a PDF until you put in that password as all the data is scramled in a sense by the cryptographic algorithm. Now if you can’t get back in contact and have no basis to start I would advise you start looking at things like the list of top 10 million password (Git hib for best lists) and other offensive cyber security tools to either attempt to brute force (hard and taxing on the machine) or run through a dictionary attack on the file with a list of top passwords.

If you have someone who has both a Linux machine and experience with Linux that shouldn’t be too hard to set up as long as the interface is still in terminal. I’m not sure that it is as I’ve never tried to use a passworded PDF on linux before but worth looking into if you really need it and get very stuck.

How did you crack excel documents? i have found a copy in excel :smile: