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Cracking Salted MD5 Hashes

password-cracking-hashes-basics | Level: Easy  | Total Lab Runs: 0 | Premium Lab

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The MD5 message-digest algorithm is a popular 128-bit hash function designed by Ronald Rivest in 1991. It was widely used to store hashed passwords and verify the integrity of files/binaries a few years back. MD5 was already declared cryptographically broken due to its susceptibility to hash collision attacks and ideally should no longer be used. Unfortunately, it still continues to be used by many legacy systems. Like other digests, MD5 hash is also susceptible to rainbow table based attack. Hence, the practice of salting was introduced to make it harder for the attackers to break it.

An MD5 hash of a password and a salt is provided in digest.txt file. The password is either chosen from a password dictionary or by using the password policy. The digest.txt file and the dictionary file "1000000-password-seclists.txt" are present in the user's home directory.

Objective: Recover the password 

If the dictionary attack does not work then the Password Policy could be:

  • Password length is less than 6 characters i.e. 0 < length < 6
  • Password can only contain characters from this character set:  a-z, 0-9

Hashcat can only start cracking if the information is provided in a specific format.

1. Password

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