- 1. Cain and Abel : Top password cracking tool for Windows
- 2. John the Ripper : Multi-platform, Powerful, Flexible password cracking tool
- 3. Aircrack : Fast and effective WEP/WPA cracking tool
- 4. THC Hydra : Multiple services supportive, Network authentication cracker
- 5. RainbowCrack : New Innovation in Password Hash Cracker
- 6. OphCrack : Tool for Windows password cracking
- 7. Brutus : A brute force attack cracker for remote systems
- 8. L0phtCrack : Smart tool for Windows password recovery
- 9. Pwdump : Password recovery tool for Windows
- 10. Medusa : Speedy network password cracking tool
- Hacking For Dummies, 4th Edition
- W hat is password cracking?
- Types of password cracking attacks:
- Best Password Cracking Tools Of 2016:
- John the Ripper | Best Password Cracking Tools Of 2016
- Aircrack-ng | Best Password Cracking Tools Of 2016
- RainbowCrack | Best Password Cracking Tools Of 2016
- Cain and Abel | Best Password Cracking Tools Of 2016
- THC Hydra | Best Password Cracking Tools Of 2016
- HashCat | Best Password Cracking Tools Of 2016
- Crowbar | Best Password Cracking Tools Of 2016
- OphCrack | Best Password Cracking Tools Of 2016
- L0phtCrack | Best Password Cracking Tools Of 2016
- DaveGrohl | Best Password Cracking Tools Of 2016
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Password cracking process involves recovering a password from storage locations or from data, transmitted by a computer system on network. Password cracking term refers to group of techniques used to get password from a data system.
Purpose and reason of password cracking includes gaining an unauthorized access to a computer system or it can be recovery of forgotten password. There might be another reason of using password cracking technique that is for testing password strength so hacker could not hack into system.
Password cracking is normally performed thought repetitive process in which computer applies different combinations of password till the exact match.
Brute Force Password Cracking:
Term brute force password cracking may also be referred as brute force attack. Brute force password cracking is respective process of guessing password, in this process software or tool creates a large number of password combinations. Basically itвЂ™s a trail-and-error technique used by software to obtain password information from system.
A brute force attack are normally used by hackers when there is no chance of taking advantage of encrypted system weakness or by security analysis experts to test an organizationвЂ™s network security .This method of password cracking is very fast for short length passwords but for long length passwords dictionary attack technique is normally used.
Time taken by brute force password cracking software to crack password is normally depend upon speed of system and internet connection.
GPU Password Cracking:
GPU is graphics processing unit, sometimes also called visual processing unit. Before talking about GPU password cracking we must have some understanding about hashes. When user enter password the password information stored in form of computer hashes using the one-way hashing algorithm.
In this password cracking technique using GPU software take a password guess and look through hashing algorithm and compare it or match it with the existing hashes till the exact match.
GPU can perform mathematical functions in parallel as GPU have hundreds of core that gives massive advantage in cracking password. GPU is much faster than CPU so thatвЂ™s the reason of using GPU instead of CPU.
CUDA Password Cracking:
CUDA Compute Unified Device Architecture is a model for programming and a platform that perform computations in parallel, created by NVIDIA for graphic processing.
CUDA Password cracking includes cracking passwords using Graphics card which have GPU chip, GPU can perform mathematical functions in parallel so the speed of cracking password is faster than CPU.GPU have many 32bit chips on it that perform this operation very quickly.
We can easily access CUDA through libraries, directives and with the help of different programming languages that includes C, C++ and FORTRAN.
Password Cracking Tools
Given below is the list of Top10 Password cracking tools.
1. Cain and Abel : Top password cracking tool for Windows
Cain & Abel is one of the top cracking tool for password cracking and password recovery for Windows OS.
Cain & Abel can use techniques of Dictionary Attack, Brute-Force and Cryptanalysis attacks to crack encrypted passwords. So it only uses the weakness of system to crack password. GUI Interface of software is very simple and easy to use. But have availability limitation, tool only available for window based systems .Cain & Abel tool have many good features some of the features of tool are discussed below:
Features of Cain & Abel:
- Used for WEP (Wired Equivalent Privacy) cracking
- Have ability to record conversation over IP
- Cab be used as Network Password Sniffer
- Ability to resolve addresses IP to MAC.
- Can crack verity of hashes including LM and NT hashes, IOS and PIX hashes, RADIUS hashes, RDP passwords, and lots more than that.
Site for Download:
2. John the Ripper : Multi-platform, Powerful, Flexible password cracking tool
John the Ripper is a free multi or cross platform password cracking software. Its called multi platform as it combines different password cracking features into one package.
ItвЂ™s primarily used to crack weak UNIX passwords but also available for Linux, Mac, and Windows. We can run this software against different password encryptions including many password hashes normally found in different UNIX versions. These hashes are DES, LM hash of Windows NT/2000/XP/2003, MD5, and AFS.
Features of John the Ripper
- Supportive with Brute force password cracking and dictionary attacks
- Multi platform
- Available free for use
- Pro version is also available with additional features
Site for Download:
3. Aircrack : Fast and effective WEP/WPA cracking tool
Aircrack is a combination different tools used for Wifi, WEP and WPA passwords cracking. With the help of these tools you can crack WEP/WPA passwords easily and effectively
Brute force, FMS attack, and dictionary attacks techniques can be used to crack WEP/WPA passwords. Basically it collects and analyzes encrypted packets then using its different tool crack password out of the packets. Although aircrack is available for Windows but there are different issues with this software if we use this in Windows environment, so itвЂ™s best when we use it in Linux environment.
Features of Aircrack
- Supportive with both Brute force and dictionary attacks cracking techniques
- Available for Windows and Linux
- Available in live CD
Site for Download:
4. THC Hydra : Multiple services supportive, Network authentication cracker
THC Hydra is a supper fast network password cracking tool. It uses network to crack remote systems passwords.
It can be used to crack passwords of different protocols including HTTPS, HTTP, FTP, SMTP, Cisco, CVS, SQL, SMTP etc. It will give you option that you may supply a dictionary file that contains list of possible passwords. ItвЂ™s best when we use it in Linux environment.
Features of THC Hydra
- Fast cracking speed
- Available for Windows, Linux ,Solaris and OS X
- New modules can be added easily to enhance features
- Supportive with Brute force and dictionary attacks
Site for Download:
5. RainbowCrack : New Innovation in Password Hash Cracker
RainbowCrack software uses rainbow tables to crack hashes, in other words we can say it uses process of a large-scale time-memory trade for effective and fast password cracking.
Large-scale-time-memory-trade-off is a process of computing all hashes and plain text using a selected hash algorithm. After calculations, obtained results are stored in the tables called rainbow table. Process of creating rainbow tables is very time consuming but when its done software works very fast.
Password cracking using rainbow table is faster than the normal brute force attack method. ItвЂ™s available for Linux and Windows operating system.
Features of Rainbow Crack
- Support verity of Rainbow tables
- Runs on Windows (XP/Vista/7/8) and Linux operating systems (x86 and x86_64)
- Simple in use
Site for Download:
6. OphCrack : Tool for Windows password cracking
OphCrack used to crack Windows user passwords with the help of rainbow tables that are available in a bootable CD.
Ophcrack is completely free to download, Windows based password cracker that uses rainbow tables to crack Windows user passwords. It normally cracks LM and NTLM hashes. Software has simple GUI and can runs on different platforms.
Features of OphCrack
- Available for Windows but also available for Linux, Mac, Unix, and OS X
- Uses for LM hashes of Windows and NTLM hashes of Windows vista.
- Rainbow tables available free and easily for Windows
- To simplify the process of cracking Live CD is available
Site for Download:
7. Brutus : A brute force attack cracker for remote systems
Brutus is the fastest, most flexible, and most popular software used to crack remote system passwords. It guess password through applying different permutations or by using a dictionary.
It can be used for different network protocols including HTTP, FTP, IMAP, NNTP and other types such as SMB, Telnet etc. It also gives you facility of creating your own authentication type. It also includes extra options of load and resume, so process can be paused when required and you can resume process when you want.
It is only available for windows operation systems. Tool has a limitation that it has not been updated since 2000.
Features of Brutus
- Available for Windows
- Can be used with different network protocols
- Tool have many good extra features
- Support SOCK proxy for all types of authentications
- Capability of error handling and recovery
- Authentication engine is multi stage
Site for Download:
8. L0phtCrack : Smart tool for Windows password recovery
Just like OphCrack tool L0phtCrack is also a Windows passwords recovery tool uses hashes to crack passwords, with extra features of Brute force and dictionary attacks.
It normally gains access to these hashes from directories, network servers, or domain controllers. It is capable of doing hash extraction from 32 & 64 bit Windows systems, multiprocessor algorithms, scheduling, and can also perform decoding and monitoring networks. Yet it is still the easiest to use password auditing and recovery software available.
Features of L0phtCrack
- Available for Windows XP, NT, 2000, Server 2003,and Server 2008
- Can work in both 32- and 64-bit environments
- Extra feature of schedule routine auditing on daily, weekly, monthly bases
- After run it provide complete Audit Summary in report page
Site for Download:
9. Pwdump : Password recovery tool for Windows
Pwdump is actually different Windows programs that are used to provide LM and NTML hashes of system user accounts.
Pwdump password cracker is capable of extracting LM, NTLM and LanMan hashes from the target in Windows, in case if Syskey is disabled, software has the ability to extract in this condition.
Software is update with extra feature of password histories display if history is available. Extracted data will be available in form that is compatible with L0phtcrack.
Recently software is updated to new version called Fgdump as Pwdump not work fine when any antivirus program is running.
Features of Pwdump
- Available for Windows XP, 2000
- Powerful extra feature are available in new version of Pwdump
- Ability to run multithreaded
- It can perform cachedump (Crashed credentials dump) and pstgdump (Protected storage dump)
Site for Download:
10. Medusa : Speedy network password cracking tool
Medusa is remote systems password cracking tool just like THC Hydra but its stability, and fast login ability prefer him over THC Hydra.
It is speedy brute force, parallel and modular tool. Software can perform Brute force attack against multiple users, hosts, and passwords. It supports many protocols including AFP, HTTP, CVS, IMAP, FTP, SSH, SQL, POP3, Telnet and VNC etc.
Medusa is pthread-based tool, this feature prevent unnecessarily duplicate of information. All modules available as an independent .mod file, so no modification is required to extend the list that supports services for brute forcing attack.
Features of Medusa
- Available for Windows, SunOS, BSD, and Mac OS X
- Capable of performing Thread based parallel testing
- Good feature of Flexible user input
- Due to parallel processing speed of cracking is very fast
Hacking For Dummies, 4th Edition
High-tech password hacking involves using a program that tries to guess a password by determining all possible password combinations. These high-tech methods are mostly automated after you access the computer and password database files.
You can try to crack your organization’s operating system and application passwords with various password-cracking tools:
Brutus cracks logons for HTTP, FTP, telnet, and more.
Cain & Abel cracks LM and NT LanManager (NTLM) hashes, Windows RDP passwords, Cisco IOS and PIX hashes, VNC passwords, RADIUS hashes, and lots more. (Hashes are cryptographic representations of passwords.)
Elcomsoft Distributed Password Recovery cracks Windows, Microsoft Office, PGP, Adobe, iTunes, and numerous other passwords in a distributed fashion using up to 10,000 networked computers at one time. Plus, this tool uses the same graphics processing unit (GPU) video acceleration as the Elcomsoft Wireless Auditor tool, which allows for cracking speeds up to 50 times faster.
Elcomsoft System Recovery cracks or resets Windows user passwords, sets administrative rights, and resets password expirations all from a bootable CD.
John the Ripper cracks hashed Linux/UNIX and Windows passwords.
ophcrack cracks Windows user passwords using rainbow tables from a bootable CD. Rainbow tables are pre-calculated password hashes that can help speed up the cracking process. See the nearby sidebar “A case study in Windows password vulnerabilities with Dr. Philippe Oechslin” for more information.
Proactive Password Auditor runs brute-force, dictionary, and rainbow cracks against extracted LM and NTLM password hashes.
Proactive System Password Recovery recovers practically any locally stored Windows password, such as logon passwords, WEP/WPA passphrases, SYSKEY passwords, and RAS/dialup/VPN passwords.
pwdump3 extracts Windows password hashes from the SAM (Security Accounts Manager) database.
RainbowCrack cracks LanManager (LM) and MD5 hashes very quickly by using rainbow tables.
THC-Hydra cracks logons for HTTP, FTP, IMAP, SMTP, VNC and many more.
Some of these tools require physical access to the systems you’re testing. You might be wondering what value that adds to password cracking. If a hacker can obtain physical access to your systems and password files, you have more than just basic information security problems to worry about, right?
True, but this kind of access is entirely possible! What about a summer intern, a disgruntled employee, or an outside auditor with malicious intent? The mere risk of an unencrypted laptop being lost or stolen and falling into the hands of someone with ill intent should be reason enough.
To understand how the preceding password-cracking programs generally work, you first need to understand how passwords are encrypted. Passwords are typically encrypted when they’re stored on a computer, using an encryption or one-way hash algorithm, such as DES or MD5. Hashed passwords are then represented as fixed-length encrypted strings that always represent the same passwords with exactly the same strings.
These hashes are irreversible for all practical purposes, so, in theory, passwords can never be decrypted. Furthermore, certain passwords, such as those in Linux, have a random value called a salt added to them to create a degree of randomness. This prevents the same password used by two people from having the same hash value.
Password-cracking utilities take a set of known passwords and run them through a password-hashing algorithm. The resulting encrypted hashes are then compared at lightning speed to the password hashes extracted from the original password database. When a match is found between the newly generated hash and the hash in the original database, the password has been cracked. It’s that simple.
Other password-cracking programs simply attempt to log on using a predefined set of user IDs and passwords. This is how many dictionary-based cracking tools work, such as Brutus and SQLPing3.
Passwords that are subjected to cracking tools eventually lose. You have access to the same tools as the bad guys. These tools can be used for both legitimate security assessments and malicious attacks. You want to find password weaknesses before the bad guys do.
When trying to crack passwords, the associated user accounts might be locked out, which could interrupt your users. Be careful if intruder lockout is enabled in your operating systems, databases, or applications. If lockout is enabled, you might lock out some or all computer/network accounts, resulting in a denial of service situation for your users.
Password storage locations vary by operating system:
Windows usually stores passwords in these locations:
Security Accounts Manager (SAM) database ( c:winntsystem32config ) or ( c:windowssystem32config )
Active Directory database file that’s stored locally or spread across domain controllers ( ntds.dit )
Windows may also store passwords in a backup of the SAM file in the c:winntrepair or c:windowsrepair directory.
Some Windows applications store passwords in the Registry or as plain-text files on the hard drive! A simple registry or file-system search for “password” may uncover just what you’re looking for.
Linux and other UNIX variants typically store passwords in these files:
/etc/passwd (readable by everyone)
/etc/shadow (accessible by the system and the root account only)
/etc/security/passwd (accessible by the system and the root account only)
/.secure/etc/passwd (accessible by the system and the root account only)
Short Bytes: Password cracking is an integral part of digital forensics and pentesting. Keeping that in mind, we have prepared a list of the top 10 best password cracking tools that are widely used by ethical hackers and cybersecurity experts. These tools–including the likes of Aircrack, John the Ripper, and THC Hydra–use different algorithms and protocols to crack the passwords on a Windows, Linux, and OS X system.
W hat is password cracking?
In the field of cybersecurity and cryptography, password cracking plays a very major role. It’s basically the process of recovering passwords to breach (or restore) the security of a computer system. You can easily relate it to repeatedly guessing your phone’s unlock pattern or pin.
So, why do we need to learn about password cracking and the tools used to do so? The purpose of password cracking revolves around recovering the forgotten passwords of our online accounts, computers, and smartphones. Password cracking is also used by system administrators as a preventive measure. They keep checking them on the regular basis to look for the weak links.
Talking about the process of password cracking, most methods involve the use of a computer that generates a vast set of password candidates. A desktop computer tests more than hundreds of millions of passwords per second. A password cracking tool performs this task easily and checks these candidates to reveal the actual password.
The time needed to crack a password is proportional to the length and strength of that password. That’s why users are advised to use complex passwords that are harder to guess. The password cracking speed of a tool also depends heavily on the cryptographic function that’s used to generate password hashes. Thus, a potent hashing function like bcrypt is preferred over the likes of SHA and MD5.
Types of password cracking attacks:
Here’s I’ll be listing various types of password cracking attacks that are generally used by attackers:
- Dictionary attack: This attack uses a file that contains a list of words that are found in the dictionary. This mode matches different combinations of those words to crack your device open.
- Brute force attack: Apart from the dictionary words, brute force attack makes use of non-dictionary words too.
- Rainbow table attack: This attack comes along with pre-computed hashes. Thus, this method is faster.
There are lots of other password cracking techniques like phishing, spidering, social engineering, shoulder surfing etc. Soon, I’ll be discussing them in detail in another article. So, let’s get started with our list of the best password cracking tools of 2016.
Best Password Cracking Tools Of 2016:
Disclaimer: fossBytes is publishing this list just for educational purposes. We don’t promote malicious and unethical practices.
John the Ripper | Best Password Cracking Tools Of 2016
John the Ripper is one of the most popular password cracking tools available around. This free password cracking tool is chiefly written in C programming language. Encompassing a customizable password cracker, John the Ripper comes as a combination of many password crackers into one suite.
Its ability to autodetect password hashtypes, makes it a preferred choice of ethical hackers to ensure security. A pro version of this tool is also available, offering better features and more effectiveness. Just like the popular hacking tool Metasploit, John also belongs to the Raspid7 family of security tools.
Supported platforms: John the Ripper is available for all major platforms, including Linux, Windows, DOS, and OS X.
Download link: John the Ripper
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Aircrack-ng | Best Password Cracking Tools Of 2016
Aircrack-ng (ng stands for new generation) is one of the best password cracking tools that hackers use to bump their annoying neighbors off their own Wi-Fi. Note that just like John the Ripper, Aircrack-ng is not a single tool. Instead, it’s a complete software suite that’s used to play with Wi-Fi networks.
In this free suite, you get a tool named aircrack that hackers use to crack WPA or WEP passwords. After analyzing the encrypted password packets, aircrack uses its cracking algorithm to break the passwords.
Using the well know attack techniques like FMS, this password cracking tool makes your job easier. Recently, a new attack named “PTW” has been included in the suite, which reduces the number of initialization vectors to break a WEP key.
Supported platforms: Aircrack is available for Linux, OpenBSD, FreeBSD, OX X, Windows, Android
Download link: Aircrack-ng
RainbowCrack | Best Password Cracking Tools Of 2016
As the name suggests, RainbowCrack makes use of rainbow tables to crack password hashes. Using a large-scale time-memory trade-off, RainbowCrack performs an advance cracking time computation. According to your convenience, you are free to use the command line or graphical interface of RainbowCrack.
Once the pre-computation stage is completed, this top password cracking tool is about hundreds of times faster than a brute force attack. You also don’t need to prepare the rainbow tables yourselves. The developers have made different rainbow tables for LM, NTLM, MD5 and SHA1 available for free.
RainbowCrack’s GPU acceleration is another key feature that allows this free password cracking tool to offload the runtime computation to GPUs, reducing the cracking time even further.
Supported platforms: RainbowCrack is available for Windows and Linux
Download link: RainbowCrack
Cain and Abel | Best Password Cracking Tools Of 2016
This renowned password cracking tool is a dependable software to recover various types of passwords using multiple techniques. Cain and Able lets you easily perform Dictionary, Brute-Force, and Cryptoanalysis attacks to crack encrypted passwords.
This multi-purpose hacking tool also comes with the ability to sniff the networks, record VoIP conversations, recover network keys, decode scrambled passwords, and analyze routing protocols.
Cain and Abel has two components. While Cain is the frontend application to recover your passwords and perform sniffing, Able is a Windows NT service that performs the role of traffic scrambling.
Supported Platforms: Cain and Abel is available for Windows
Download link: Cain and Abel
THC Hydra | Best Password Cracking Tools Of 2016
Compared to other top password cracking tools, THC Hydra performs hacking attacks using numerous network protocols, including the likes of Asterisk, FTP, HTTP-Proxy, MYSQL, XMPP, Telnet, and more. Using these protocols, THC Hydra performs super fast brute-force and dictionary attacks against a login page.
This free-to-use tool helps the pentesters and security researchers to know how easy it would be to gain remote access to a system. This tool also lets you add new modules to increase the functionality. Via its GitHub page, you can also participate in the development process of THC Hydra.
Supported Platforms: THC Hydra is available for Windows, Linux, Solaris, FreeBSD, OS X
Download link: THC Hydra
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HashCat | Best Password Cracking Tools Of 2016
HashCat claims to be the fastest and most advanced password cracking software available. Released as a free and open source software, HashCat supports algorithm like MD4, MD5, Microsoft LM hashes, SHA-family, MySQL, Cisco PIX, and Unix Crypt formats.
This password cracking tool comes in both CPU-based and GPU-based versions, HashCat and oclHashcat/cudaHashcat, respectively. Using a well-documented GPU acceleration, many algorithms can be easily cracked using this tool.
Different types of attacks performed by this tool include brute force attack, combinator attack, fingerprint attack, dictionary attack, hybrid attack, mask attack, table-lookup attack, PRINCE attack, permutation attack etc.
Supported Platforms: HashCat is available for Windows, Linux, OS X
Download link: HashCat
Crowbar | Best Password Cracking Tools Of 2016
Crowbar is a brute forcing tool that’s widely popular in the pen testing scene. It gives you the control to decide what’s submitted to a web server. While most brute forcing tools use username and password to deploy SSH brute force, Crowbar makes use of SSH keys obtained during penetration tests.
This free tool is created to support the protocols that are rarely supported by other popular password cracking tools. Currently, Crowbar supports VNC key authentication, OpenVPN, SSP private key authentication, and Remote Desktop Protocol with NLA support.
Supported Platforms: Crowbar is available for Windows, Linux, OS X
Download link: Crowbar
OphCrack | Best Password Cracking Tools Of 2016
Just like RainbowCrack, OphCrack is another popular and free password cracking tool that uses rainbow tables to crack the password hashes. It’s widely used to crack Windows log-in passwords. Thanks to its ability to import and use hashes from multiple formats and sources, OphCrack is known to crack the passwords of a Windows computer in few minutes.
Available conveniently as a Live CD, a pentester can use it and leave no trace behind. For cracking Windows XP, Vista, and 7, one can also grab freely available rainbow tables. For professional use, larger tables are available for purchase.
Supported Platforms: OphCrack is available for Windows
Download link: OphCrack
L0phtCrack | Best Password Cracking Tools Of 2016
Just like OphCrack, L0phtCrack is known for easily cracking Windows passwords. Using a wide set of attacks like dictionary, hybrid, brute force, and rainbow tables, this password cracking tool can also be deemed useful in sniffing hashes.
It’s a great way to target Windows desktops, networked servers, Active Directory, and primary domain controllers. Its schedule routine audit functionality lets you perform scans at a convenient time.
Supported Platforms: L0phtCrack is available for Windows
Download link: L0phtCrack
DaveGrohl | Best Password Cracking Tools Of 2016
For Mac OS X, DaveGrohl is an open source password cracking tool that’s preferred by the Apple security experts. With a completely modern object-oriented codebase in Version 3.0, DaveGrohl has been made more useful for developers and users.
With the help of dictionary and incremental attacks, this tool lets you crack a password in minutes. Its distributed mode allows you to perform attacks using different computers and crack the same password hash for faster results.
Supported Platforms: DaveGrohl is available for OS X
Download link: DaveGrohl
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Bonus: Top 10 Best Hacking Tools | 2017 Edition