Crack a Password

How to Crack a Password

What is the definition of password cracking?
It is the process of attempting to obtain unauthorised access to restricted systems by employing common passwords or algorithms that guess the passwords of the systems being attempted access. For want of a better expression, it is the art of acquiring the correct password that grants access to a system that is protected by an authentication method.

In order to achieve its objectives, password cracking makes use of a variety of strategies. If the stored passwords do not match the word list, the cracking procedure can be performed by using algorithms to construct passwords that do fit the word list.

Methods for cracking an application’s password
It is our goal in this Tutorial to familiarise you with the most often used password cracking techniques, as well as the countermeasures you may use to safeguard your systems from such attacks.

What is password strength?

It is the ability of a password to withstand password cracking assaults that is measured in terms of its strength. The following factors influence the strength of a password:

The length of a password refers to the amount of characters it contains.
Does it make use of a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols to convey its complexity?
What is unpredictable about a system? Is it anything that can be guessed readily by a malicious attacker?
Let’s take a look at a real-world illustration. We will use three different passwords, which are as follows:

password (optional)

2. password1 is a password that you can use to get in to your account.

3. #password1$ is a one-time password.

When creating passwords, we will make use of the Cpanel’s password strength indicator, which we shall demonstrate in this example. The password strengths of each of the passwords described above are represented in the graphics below.

Methods for cracking an application’s password
Please keep in mind that the password used is password with a strength of 1, which is extremely weak.

Methods for cracking an application’s password
Please keep in mind that the password used is password1, the strength of which is 28, and it is still weak.

Methods for cracking an application’s password
Note: The password used is #password1$, and its strength is 60, which indicates that it is very strong.

The greater the amount of characters in the password strength, the better the password.

Consider the possibility that we must save our above-mentioned passwords using MD5 encryption. We will utilise an online md5 hash generator to turn our passwords into md5 hashes, which will be stored in our database.

The password hashes are listed in the table below.

Password MD5 Hash Cpanel Strength Indicator
password 5f4dcc3b5aa765d61d8327deb882cf99 1
password1 7c6a180b36896a0a8c02787eeafb0e4c 28
#password1$ 29e08fb7103c327d68327f23d8d9256c 60

We will now use the website http://www.md5this.com/ to crack the hashes listed above. The results of the password cracking for the passwords listed above are shown in the photos below.

As you can see from the above findings, we were successful in cracking the first and second passwords, despite the fact that they were of lower strength. Despite our efforts, we were unable to crack the third password, which was longer, more sophisticated, more unpredictable. It got a better overall strength rating.

Password cracking techniques

Cracking passwords can be accomplished through the use of a variety of approaches. We’ll go over the most often utilised ones in the following section.

This approach includes comparing a wordlist against a user’s passwords, which is performed by using a dictionary.
The dictionary attack is a type of brute force attack that is comparable to the dictionary attack. Brute force attacks generate passwords for the attack by combining alpha-numeric characters and symbols using algorithms that mix alpha-numeric characters and symbols. The brute force approach, for example, can be used to try a password with the value “password” as well as the password p@$$word.
Rainbow table attack– This method makes use of hashes that have already been generated. Take, for example, the case where we have a database that stores passwords as md5 hashes. We can develop another database that contains md5 hashes of passwords that are often used. After that, we may compare the password hash we have with the hashes that have been stored in the database. If a match is found, we will know what the password is.
Guess– As the name implies, this strategy is based on educated guesses. Passwords such as qwerty, password, admin, and so on are frequently used or configured as default passwords on computers. Unless they are changed on a regular basis, or if the user is negligent while selecting passwords, they are vulnerable to being readily compromised.
Spidering– The majority of businesses employ passwords that hold sensitive company information. Company websites, social networking platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, and other sources of information can be accessed. Spidering is the process of gathering information from several sources in order to create word lists. Once the word list has been generated, it is utilised to conduct dictionary and brute force assaults.
Wordlist for a sample dictionary attack spidering spidering

Password cracking tool

smith jones is the name of the company’s founder.

the acme corporation (business name/initials)

built|to|last words from the company’s vision/mission statement>

Golfing, chess, and soccer are among of the founders’ favourite pastimes.
Cracking software for passwords
These are software tools that are used to get into user accounts and steal their credentials. In the previous example, we looked at a tool that was similar to this one that measured password strength. In order to crack passwords, the website http://www.md5this.com/ makes use of a rainbow table. We will now have a look at some of the most regularly utilised instruments.

John the Ripper was a notorious serial killer.

When John the Ripper wants to crack a password, he utilises the command prompt. Consequently, it is appropriate for advanced users who are familiar working with command line interfaces. In order to crack passwords, it makes use of a wordlist. The application is free, but the word list must be purchased separately. This website provides free alternative word lists that you can utilise. Visit the product website at https://www.openwall.com/john/ for more information. for additional information and instructions on how to use it

Cain and Abel are two of the most famous people in the world.

Cain and Abel is a computer game that runs on Windows. It is used for a variety of tasks including as recovering passwords for user accounts, recovering Microsoft Access passwords, sniffing networks, and more. Cain & Abel, in contrast to John the Ripper, employs a graphical user interface. For the reason that it is so simple to use, it is quite popular among newcomers and script kids. Visit the product’s website at https://sectools.org/tool/cain/ for more information. for additional information and instructions on how to use it

Ophcrack

Ophcrack is a password cracker for Windows that runs on a variety of platforms and use rainbow tables to crack passwords. It is compatible with Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. Among its other functions, it includes a module for performing brute force attacks. For further information and instructions on how to use the tool, please see the product website at https://ophcrack.sourceforge.io/.

Password Cracking Counter Measures

Countermeasures Against Password Cracking
The following strategies can be implemented by an organisation to lessen the likelihood of passwords being cracked.
Avoid using passwords that are too short or that are readily guessable.
Make sure to stay away from passwords that have predictable patterns, such as 11552266.
Passwords recorded in a database must always be encrypted in order to be protected. Before saving password hashes that have been encrypted with MD5 it is recommended that they be salted first. Salting is the process of adding a word to the specified password before producing a hash of the password.
The majority of registration systems include indicators of password strength; therefore, companies must implement policies that encourage high password strength values.

Hacking Activity: Hack Now!

A basic password will be used to hack the Windows account in this real-world demonstration. Passwords are encrypted in Windows using NTLM hashes, which are generated by the operating system. This will be accomplished through the usage of the NTLM cracker tool in Cain and Abel.

The Cain and Abel cracker can be used to crack passwords using the following methods:

A dictionary attack is a form of brute force.
Cryptanalysis
In this example, we’ll use the dictionary attack as a starting point. In order to use the dictionary attack wordlist, you must first download it from the following link. 10k-Most-Common.zip

For the sake of this demonstration, we have created a new account called Accounts on Windows 7 with the password qwerty.

Password cracking steps

  • Cracking a password involves a series of procedures.
  • When you launch Cain and Abel, you will be presented with the following main screen.
  • Methods for cracking an application’s password
  • As seen in the image above, make certain that the cracker tab is chosen.
  • To add a new item to the toolbar, click on the Add button.
  • Methods for cracking an application’s password
  • When you click OK, the following dialogue window will open.
  • Methods for cracking an application’s password
  • The following is a list of the local user accounts that will be displayed. Please keep in mind that the results
  • displayed will be for the user accounts on your local workstation.
  • Methods for cracking an application’s password
  • Right-click on the account you wish to hack and select “Crack Account.” For the sake of this tutorial, we shall utilise the user account Accounts.
  • Methods for cracking an application’s password
  • The following screen will be displayed after that.
  • Methods for cracking an application’s password
  • As illustrated above, right click on the dictionary section and select Add to list from the context menu.
  • Go to the 10k most common.txt file that you just downloaded and save it somewhere safe.
  • Methods for cracking an application’s password
  • To begin, press the start button.
  • For example, if the user entered a simple password such as qwerty, you should be able to obtain the following results:
  • Methods for cracking an application’s password
  • Please keep in mind that the amount of time it takes to break a password is dependent on the strength, complexity, and processing capacity of your machine.
  • If a dictionary attack fails to crack the password, you can resort to brute force or cryptanalysis techniques to try to break it.