I have been playing with Hashcat a little bit today and I am just stunned on how fast it is. Hashcat is an all purpose password cracker that can run off of your GPU or your CPU. The GPU version, OCLHashcat-plus is touted as the world’s fastest md5crypt, phpass, mscash2 and WPA / WPA2 cracker.
Hashcat is a multi-threaded cracker, so if your CPU can run several threads, it will use them. But the real speed comes into play when using the horsepower of a GPU. If your GPU can run hundreds of threads, all of this power is used to break passwords.
But just how fast is it?
I took just a simple password: “fred” and fed the NTLM password hash into Hashcat. I used just the slower CPU version and the Bruteforce option. The password was recovered as soon as I hit run:
It was so fast, the estimated and elapsed time didn’t even register.
You can also use password dictionaries to use as a guideline for Hashcat. For the next test, I downloaded the “RockYou.txt” password list. This is a list of actual passwords that have been sanitized (usernames removed). I pulled 4 random plain text passwords from RockYou and converted them to Windows NTLM passwords:
elizabeth1 – 6afd63afaebf74211010f02ba62a1b3e
francis123 – 43fccfa6bae3d14b26427c26d00410ef
duodinamico – 27c0555ea55ecfcdba01c022681dda3f
luphu4ever – 9439b142f202437a55f7c52f6fcf82d3
I placed the 4 password hashes into a file called hashes.txt, added in the RockYou plain text password list and fed them into Hashcat:
Hashcat recovered all five passwords in about the same amount of time it took to create the display screen, a second, maybe 2:
Remember that these are the NTLM hashes, not Window’s simpler LM hashes.
Add in the GPU version, advanced rules, attack methods, and Hybrid Masks and you really have a powerful tool to recover almost any password.