Hashcat is an established password cracker that is considered the world’s fastest CPU-based password recovery tool.
In this article, you will be introduced to Hashcat and how it works.
Passwords are a string of letters, numbers, or symbols used for the authentication process in various applications. We use them to gain access and also restrict unauthorized entry into accounts, applications, and databases.
However, what if you forget your password? How do you restore it? That is what makes a password cracking tools like Hashcat useful and important to understand.
What is Hashcat?
Hashcat is known as the fastest and most advanced password recovery tool capable of cracking extremely complex passwords. It is highly versatile and fast, giving it an edge over other password cracking tools.
Jens ‘atom’ Steube and Gabriele ‘matrix’ Gristina developed the software.
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Hashcat is open-sourced, free and cracks passwords using GPU cracking or CPU cracking. It is available for Linux, OS X, and Windows systems.
What Does Hashcat Support?
Hashcat supports a large variety of hashing algorithms, such as:
- NT Hash,
- LM hash,
- Unix Crypt formats,
- Cisco PIX
- and SHA family.
It also offers several attack modes, including:
- Toggle-Case attack
- Fingerprint attack
- Rule-based attack
- Combinator attack
- Brute-force attack
- Dictionary attack
- Mask attack
- Table-Lookup attack
- Hybrid attack
- Permutation attack
- and PRINCE attack.
How Hashcat Works
Hashcat uses rainbow tables, precomputed dictionaries, and a brute-force approach to find an adequate way to crack passwords.
The software can convert readable information into a scrambled sequence, which could be used to crack passwords. The program uses a technique known as a brute force in direct cracking.
You can download Hashcat online and use it to obtain lost passwords through multiple processes. It’s quite easy to set up because it comes along with a user-friendly guide that illustrates step-by-step how to use the program.
Some of its features include:
- Compatible with well-know operating systems (Linux, Windows and OSX native binaries)
- Multi-threaded and the threads have the ability to be configured and executed and used based on the lowest priority
- Supports hex-salt, hex-charset, and automatic performance tuning
- Allows reading of password candidates from file and stdin
- Free and open source
Hashcat is a great tool for password recovery. However, malicious hackers also use it for nefarious purposes.
To ensure you are not an easy victim of a password hack, always make your password long and complex. Additionally, avoid using obvious information about yourself. Finally, you should also change your passwords regularly.