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MSN password decryption algorithm

for MSN Messenger and Windows Live Messenger

This page describes the encryption algorithms used by MSN Messenger and Windows Live Messenger to store passwords on the local machine. If you don't want to get into details and simply want to decode and decrypt your MSN passwords, download and install our tool called Password Recovery for MSN:

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Windows Live Messenger & MSN Messenger use a set of Win API functions (Credential API's) to store its' security data (Credentials). These functions store user information, such as names and passwords for the accounts (Windows Live ID credentials). Windows Live ID Credential records are controlled by the operating system for each user and for each session. They are attached to the "target name" and "type". If you are familiar with SQL you can think of target name and type as the primary key. Table below lists most frequently used fields in Windows Live ID Credential records.

Name Description
Target Name (key) Name along with the type is used to identify the record
Type (key) Used to identify the record and specify the type of the record
User Name User Name
Password This field is usually used to store passwords in the un-encrypted form but any binary data can be stored here
Persistence Describes the age of the record as well as the accessibility
Description Used to describe the credential record
Last Write Time Time and date of the last time the record was changed

The following API function is used by the Windows Live Messenger to add or change MSN password records:

CredWrite(PCREDENTIALW credential,DWORD flags)

The record looks like this after it has been added:

Tag et
Last modified=12.04.2007 12:28:42

CredRead function is used to read data from Credentials storage and CredEnumerate is used to list all records stored in there.

If don't want to get into details and simply want to decrypt you MSN password stored on the local system, you can use our MSN password recovery tool:

Download Password Recovery for MSN

MSN Password Finder

Download Password Recovery for MSN

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