Thursday, October 11, 2007

Password protected WordPerfect documents

Because we live in very interesting times, some information might be pushed to background. Even though it is very important one. Last week-end an e-mail of Jaroslav Fojtik announced me his success in finding a way to decrypt password protected WP 3.x for Mac files. Just to precise, it is not about the protection cracking, just about the ability to read password protected documents using FOSS once you know the password. This masterpiece of reverse engineering (which is completely legal in some parts of the world) adds this file-format to the WP 4.x and WP 5.x for DOS/Windows that FOSS world was already able to decrypt.

The only file-formats that we are still not able to decrypt are WP 1.x for Mac and WP 6+. For the former, work is currently being done, for the later, it looks like it is a bit harder nut. If anybody of people reading this entry has any useful information about the encryption of the WP 6+ documents, please read here. We would like to stress that we are not interested in the password cracking and other illegal activity. We want simply to make it possible to a user of FOSS to read its own WordPerfect documents that she once protected using a password. So, abstain from communicating information whose publication could be illegal in your jurisdiction. OTOH, a genuine help with the decryption is most welcome.

The API for decrypting WP documents will most probably be part of libwpd 0.9.x series.