I've recovered a .SQB SQL database backup file from a backup server and do not have the password. As I do not have the password available to me, I'm looking to determine what type of encryption is being used and also if it is possible to use any existing programs to crack the password.

Based on this link I believe the database to be encrypted using AES256 or AES128 but given that i'm not even sure where the file originated from, I'm not sure this is the case.

I've examined the top and bottom of the file for any kind of header/footer information but nothing is obvious. The end of the file is all 'FF' hex bytes and the header appears to be entirely random, a chunk of null bytes, then entirely random again.

If there is any way to identify the type of encryption used in this file or any software which supports attacking this type of file any help would be greatly appreciated.

1 Answer 1


You first need to identify the backup solution used to create the file. Based on the .SQB extension, I suspect it is Red Gate, which based on this looks to be using AES 128 or 256. Searching the non-dark net I did not find any clear documentation for recovering a lost password. Assuming you have a bona fide reason for trying to crack the file, your best bet is to contact Red Gate directly.

  • Except, assuming the vendor has implemented the encryption securely and properly, they don't have any better chance than the OP. Given that most business want to protect themselves from rogue employees, this is a huge security concern. Commented Apr 18, 2014 at 14:09
  • @Clockwork-Muse quite true, however looking through their forum Red Gate may feel an incompetent employee is a bigger risk, and have a back door of some sort. The typical practice seems to be to have the password passed as a parameter in a batch file!
    – Shawn C
    Commented Apr 20, 2014 at 0:02

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