Office 2013 is the latest Office suite from Microsoft which is still in Customer Preview stage. The final version of Office 2013 is planned to be released in early 2013. ElcomSoft, a Russian security company, has been able to crack the security of Office 2013.
In addition to other enhancements and features, Microsoft has enhanced the security features of Office 2013. You can check the security overview of the new Office suite.
There are two tools provided by ElcomSoft to break Office 2013 passwords and other restrictions. The products include Advanced Office Password Recovery and Elcomsoft Distributed Password Recovery. The new versions of both the products now support Office 2013.
So what type of security is cracked? Newly updated tools enable the users to instantly lift restrictions such as document protection password or read only password and instantly unlock protected Excel spreadsheets.
Office 2013 uses SHA512 hashes with 256-bit encryption key which can take a huge amount of time to be cracked using brute force methods. So according to ElcomSoft, smart password attacks are pretty much the only way to go with Office 2013 security. The specified tools rely on a variety of smart attacks which include a combination of dictionary attacks, masks and advanced permutations to decrypt the passwords.
Although the GPU based cracking is not supported by the tools yet, it will be added in the future versions. Currently only multi-CPU based cracking is used to process all the cracking methods mentioned above.
Both the tools are very expensive and may be designed to be used by organizations and not individuals. The standard edition of Advanced Office Password Recovery is $99 while Elcomsoft Distributed Password Recovery costs $1199 for up to 100 clients.
For more information about the tools, you may read their press release PDF file. Please note that both the tools have not been tested by anyone yet so the claim can only be confirmed from someone who has already used these products.