Crack PDF password on Ubuntu

pdfI was looking for some tools to crack or remove PDF passwords from an encrypted PDF file today. I googled for sometime and came across some native tools on Ubuntu as well as online websites which can be of help.

To start with, a brief on PDF passwords:

  • User password – doesn’t let you view the file.
  • Owner password – you can view the file but cannot print, copy contents etc.

The tools and site I found useful are:

  • PDFCrack: uses a brute force approach to find the passwords. Quite flexible. Available in the default repos. To install on Ubuntu:
    $ sudo apt-get install pdfcrack
  • PDFtk: lets you create a decrypted version of the file if you provide the password. Available in synaptic. To install on Ubuntu:
    $ sudo apt-get install pdftk
  • Witwall – similar functionality as PDFtk, but online. No need to install anything.

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