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Program options


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To access and change program options, select the Options | General menu item, or press the Options button on the toolbar; press Set options password button to set the password required to view or change the options (if password is set, you will be prompted for it every time when accessing the Options).


Save setup every (minutes)


If you'd like PPA to save its state periodically, please check the appropriate option, and select the time (in minutes) between saves. If you do that, PPA will update a project file (with .hdt extension) just as if you use the Save project button, or the Project | Save menu item. Even if your computer stops responding (or if power fails), you'll be able to restore breaking the password from the last saved state. Instead of using the default settings (the name of the file and the folder it will be saved to), you can also select your own settings. If your project does not have a name yet, it will be saved as untitled.hdt. Enabling this option is strongly recommended.


Progress bar update interval (ms)


Allows you to set an interval (in milliseconds) between progress bar and status window updates; the default is 500 (a reasonable value). By selecting the higher value (3000, for example), you can get slightly better recovery speed.


Hide found passwords


If this option is enabled, the password (or half), when found, is not shown in the main program window and in the report (the actual characters are replaced with asterisks).


Log file


When logfile is enabled, the program saves all information displayed in the status window into the logfile (ppa.log).


Minimize to tray


If this option is enabled, the program window will disappear from the Windows desktop when you press the "minimize" button in the top-right corner of the window (or you select an appropriate item in the system menu).  The small icon will be created in the "tray" area of the task bar (near the system clock). Just double-click on that icon to restore the window.




Normal or high. If you want to start PPA  as a "background" process, which will work only when the CPU is in an idle state, you may select Normal. If you want to increase performance, select High, but be aware that this will decrease the performance of *all other* applications running on your computer.


Preliminary attack options


Contain the following items:


User info attack: check for passwords that are equal to user names
Windows info attack: recover cached passwords (for users HelpAssistant, VUSR_*, IIS_* etc), auto-logon password, and password saved in WinLogon process memory
Password cache attack: chack the passwords against the 'internal' dictionary/wordlist, created from the passwords that were found during previous sessions
Simple dictionary attack: an attack using the small but effective built-in dictionary
Simple brute-force attack: brute-force attack on passwords for up to three characters


The first three attacks are extremely fast, and the last one usually takes just a few seconds (up to a few minutes on slow machines with many accounts). But you can still disable any (or all) of them.




Switches the language of program user interface (currently, only English, German and Russian languages are available).


Also, the program can be started with the command line parameters. Currently, the only two supported parameters are project name (.hdt file)  and the number of threads (see Recovery process and results). To start PPA with the given number of threads, use the following command line:


ppa.exe -threads N


where N is the number of threads.

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