Password cracking is the process of recovering password from data that has been stored in or transmitted by a COMPUTER SYSTEM. A common approach is to repeatedly try guesses for the password. The purpose of password cracking might be to help a user recover a forgotten password (though installing an entirely new password is less of a security risk, but involves system administration privileges), to gain unauthorized access to a system, or as a preventive measure by system administrators to check for easily crackable passwords. On a file-by file basis, password cracking is utilized to gain access to digital evidence for which a judge has allowed access but the particular file's access is restricted.

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