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Cracker is a tool for Windows system administrators to restore access rights to directories and files marked with the 'No Access' attribute.

Windows comes with its own file system NTFS ('New Technology File System') which offers discretionary access control: the owner of an NTFS directory or file controls the access rights for everyone, including Windows system administrators.

Windows file system objects have what are known as access control lists, or ACLs. These in turn contain access control entries, or ACEs. When determining access rights for an object, Windows sums the ACEs for the user and groups the user belongs to.

But if Windows encounters the 'No Access' attribute it denies access categorically. 'No Access' affects even the owner of the object: the owner can remove the 'No Access' attribute but until then no one - not even the owner - can access it.

Consider the following scenario: a new employee gains access to a network as a bona-fide user, stays a few months, then quits, leaving a hive of directories and files all marked, inadvertently or not, with the 'No Access' attribute, and the employee's account has been deleted. [No creating the account again with the same name will not work.] All a system administrator can do in such a situation is delete the entire hive without ever knowing what was in it.

Enter Cracker: Cracker yanks ownership of everything dropped on it and reestablishes full control.

Note that use of Cracker requires membership in the Administrators group.

File size: 5KB.

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