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What to start from

 

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If you have no idea how long the password is and what characters it may contain, just run the dictionary-based attack first. If it fails, try brute-force with the following options (character set and password length range):

 

Charset

Length

Passwords

Time (approx.)





All printable

1..6

742,912,032,768

14 hours

Digits, small/capital, space

7

3,938,980,724,736

3 days

Digits, small letters, space

8

3,512,479,514,624

3 days

Digits, capital letters, space

8

3,512,479,514,624

3 days

Digits

9..11

1,110,999,957,504

1 day

Small letters, space

9

7,625,596,993,536

6 days

Capital letters, space

9

7,625,596,993,536

6 days

 

The third column shows the total number of possible password combinations (with the given charset and password length); and the last column shows the maximum time required for recovery of the password, assuming that the speed is 15,000,000 passwords per second (the performance of a computer with Pentium 4 3GHz CPU on ZIP archives with three or more files using traditional encryption, and at least one is inflated).

 

For archives of other types (or ZIP archives that use AES encryption etc. – i.e. when the speed is worse), you will have to run a benchmark in advance, and find the proper options (especially the password range) experimentally.


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