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I locked a folder containing some important files with an obscure application from SourceForge called Folder Lock Pro. When the enter password dialog came up to lock the folder I changed my mind, and as there was no close icon (x) I merely clicked OK. The application locked the folder anyway and when I tried to unlock it, no password dialog came up.

I had the folder open in a window when I locked it, so I was able to bring up the property sheets of the various files in the folder. They were all 0 bytes in length. However, when I checked the property page of the locked folder itself, the size seemed to be the same as before I locked it - 10 files 648 KB in total, so I guess they still exist in some form.

On further testing with non-critical files (something I probably should have done originally) there is an extra file in the locked folder, created by the program. I used the first method of encryption. The author is clearly not available (the last post is five years ago) and I'm not hugely tech savvy, so how could I fix this problem?

My OS is Windows 10 Home.

  • 4
    I have successfully regained access to the folder with an app called "Lockhunter" which involved renaming the folder. All files are intact. Thank ****! – chrispembs Nov 16 at 10:09
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    Any time you read "99% Hacker Proof Technology" or anything along those lines, just run. – Voo Nov 16 at 22:11
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    @Voo "99% Hacker Proof Technology" reminds me of this xkcd. – Zev Spitz Nov 17 at 18:02
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    I guess you should be thankful that the software was just garbage rather than a scam. This could easily have turned into "I voluntarily installed ransomware and told it which folder was most important to me". – IMSoP Nov 18 at 11:57
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    @user2120666 Once upon a time, SourceForge was a good source of open source software, but those days are long gone. If a project's only hosting is on SourceForge, I would immediately assume that it is at best abandoned, and quite possibly hijacked to inject extra software into the installer. For a while SourceForge themselves were modifying installers to inject adware; I think they promised to stop, but they've never regained my trust. – IMSoP Nov 18 at 17:51
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(Screenshot of the 'Folder Locker's main window)

Despite the program claiming to use an "Encryption Library", there is no encryption in this software at all. It simply renames the folder to one of:

  • Mode 1: Example folder.{2559a1f2-21d7-11d4-bdaf-00c04f60b9f0}
  • Mode 2: Example folder.{645FF040-5081-101B-9F08-00AA002F954E}
  • Mode 3: Example folder.{2559a1f1-21d7-11d4-bdaf-00c04f60b9f0}

The folder and its contents remain fully accessible to software (e.g. through PowerShell or Command Prompt); the special name only tells Windows Explorer to show it as a special-purpose item and not a regular folder.

(For example, the 2nd GUID is the "Recycle Bin" CLSID. You might have heard of the same thing back in 2010, when a so-called "GodMode control panel" GUID was discovered in Windows 7.)

So the easiest recovery procedure would be to open Cmd and use ren to rename the folder back. The same could also be done via Total Commander, WinRAR, or just about any other third-party file management app you have at hand.

In all three modes, the files inside are completely untouched. (Except for the new file p.xml which contains your password – not only does the program fail to protect anything, it also stores your password in plain sight.)

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    Haha... wow, nice – Lightness Races with Monica Nov 17 at 15:54
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    Good rule of thumb is to never use encryption software where the algorithms are named after the program's own author. If it uses algorithms named after other people, it's probably ok. – grawity Nov 17 at 16:41
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    To be fair, it's not the first or last time that someone had written a similar program as one of their beginner programming projects. (I know I have written all kinds of silly stuff in MS-DOS batch, in MS Access VBA, and in MultiMedia Builder of all things.) It's the marketing it as an actual encryption program -- and not bothering to take it down five years later when you know better -- that turns it into a problem. – grawity Nov 17 at 18:34
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    They say the software is "99% Hacker Proof Technology". You are now officially among the top 1% of hackers. :) – Kamil Maciorowski Nov 18 at 12:49
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    To be fair, the author of this encryption technology does mention that it's an "Alpah" version. I'm sure these issues will all be addressed in the "Bata" version. – maxathousand Nov 18 at 17:26

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