New software to help protect identities and networks can work both ways. Chief information officers say that what helps them can also hurt them in the wrong hands. A case in point is new software from Russia that can recover passwords for Microsoft Office Suite, Microsoft Money, Microsoft Visio and other Microsoft applications, including “open” passwords, Word document protection passwords, Excel workbook and sheet passwords, and more.

It’s from ElcomSoft and is an application that allows business managers, information technology support administrators and law enforcement officials to gain access to Microsoft Office password-protected documents that have been accidentally or purposefully password protected.

This new product combines the latest and the most advanced cryptanalysis algorithms developed by ElcomSoft’s research department. But how will it be used?

AOPR is capable of instantly recovering passwords for a wide range of Microsoft’s business and office applications, including all components of MS Office, from the very first DOS versions to Office 2007 programs, including the ones for Windows, Mac, Pocket PC and localized versions. More than 30 different types of password encryption methods are supported. In addition to unlocking the file “open” passwords, version 4.0 gives access to all Office Suite passwords, from Word document “save” protection to Excel workbook and sheet passwords.