Well, there are reasons, none of which are a good idea from the security perspective. You've also discovered the reason that I detest the concept of a shared key (WEP and WPA-PSK) as a security mechanism. The problem is that if the shared key is compromised, the entire network is compromised. Many corporate users have their IT people setup laptops and PDAs with the WPA-PSK shared key under the assumption that the owner of the laptop cannot recover the key and therefore add unauthorized laptops to the corporate WLAN.
With such tools, an evil hacker (such as myself) can:
Add unauthorized wireless devices to the WLAN.
Decrypt captured wireless traffic.
Give myself a tour of the WLAN/LAN to see what other interesting things I could find.
and a few other things I don't think I should mention.
I would feel somewhat better if WZC would use a better one way encryption scheme for storing such important information. The current scheme is barely tolerable but considerably better than what some vendors were doing which included storing WEP/WPA keys unencrypted in the registry or having them visible in their configuration utility.
It also didn't work for me on two laptops. One running XP Home SP2. The other W2K SP4. Try this one:
which works for me on both, for connections that were saved with Wireless Zero Config. Installation is kinda a pain, but at least it works.
Note that WZCOOK doesn't actually recover the WPA key, but instead recovers the PMK (Pairwise Master Key). That's currently unusable under Windoze for connecting to a WPA secured network, but can be done under Linux. (I haven't tried it yet).
Also, I looked through the source tree at:
and found source for all the Aircrack-NG applications except WZCOOK. Hmmm...