What is Password Cracking?
Password cracking is a methodology of recovering a password that has been forgotten or an attempt to unlock and gain access – often unauthorized to a software or system or an online account – protected and locked by a password. Another way around, password cracking is an art by virtue of which the correct password can be procured to gain access to a network or system. Password hacking tools or software like any other has evolved so much over the years – there are a plethora of such tools available to help you to decode the password.
Having said that, password cracking entails tools and techniques to accomplish password recovery from stored data that is present on a computer or shared and transmitted by a system in the form of what is termed as – “scrambled”. Password cracking is also referred to as password hacking.
To dive a little deeper, the process of cracking passwords is aimed to decrypt passwords which can be achieved by drawing an analogy between passwords that are stored and word lists or alternatively, make use of algorithms to create and produce passwords that match to seek access with the password cracked.
Here’s a list of such password cracking tools employed to decrypt passwords and get you illuminated with the processes by virtue of these tools.
Brutus is one of the best password cracking tools to recover passwords and usernames and can be deployed on websites, applications, and operating systems. Brutus is a popular password cracking tool. This tool helps you to crack passwords – you can leverage from a brute force attack or dictionary attack and supports FTP, HTTP, POP3, SMB, Telnet, NetBus, IMAP, NNTP, and other platforms. This tool is free and supports Windows only.
Brutus also supports a multi-stage authentication protocol and is designed to attack up to sixty different targets simultaneously.
Brutus’s capability to add custom modules and support for a wide range of authentication protocols makes it one of the best tools to play with.
RainbowCrack is a program that can be deployed to assist in password cracking by generating rainbow tables. It is a lot easier to crack passwords with a rainbow table – even faster than the old-school brute force attack. Rainbow tables serve as a dictionary that contains all the possible passwords – nearly all including the pre-computed hashes. You can use this dictionary once created – repeatedly to help you in password cracking. However, creating such a dictionary takes a longer time than a single hash process.
With Wfuzz, you can hack the most secure passwords but you need to have time at your disposal. Having said that, Wfuzz is a hacking tool that helps you to trigger brute force attacks on web applications to figure out vulnerabilities for free. The source of input data is a payload in Wfuzz. This tool works on a simple algorithm – any reference to the keyword fuzz is replaced by the given payload. This simple algorithm facilitates to performance of complex brute force attacks in various components of the web application.
Cain and Abel
Cain & Abel is a password cracking tool which incorporates robust decryption algorithms. It is powerful enough to recover Outlook and network passwords and it does display passwords layered by asterisks. It is one of the tools you can rely on to retrieve passwords in a fast-paced manner.
Cain and Abel are made of two major constituents – Cain and Abel – as the name suggests. Cain does the frontend work by retrieving passwords and password detection while Abel aids in the form of Windows NT service which needs to be installed – either locally or remotely.
John the Ripper
John the Ripper is a free tool password cracking tool used for deciphering remote and local passwords. This tool can also help you identify the strength of the password and builds on Brute force attack and Dictionary attack to recover passwords. It has the capability to run on fifteen different platforms. It is one of the tools that is frequently used for password testing purposes and unlocking programs. The tool combines multiple password crackers and bundles them intone a package and it potent enough to autodetect password hash type. The tool has been developed and programmed to detect UNIX passwords.
THC Hydra has been hailed by many security professionals as the best tool for application’s functionalities related to security. This tool is an open-source and brute force password cracking tool. When you need to brute force crack a remote authentication application, your “go-to person” is the tool called THC Hydra as it comes to your rescue by fetching the password quickly.
The tool supports more than 50 security protocols and runs on Windows OS, macOS, and Unix platforms. In addition, it supports mobile OS as well – Android and iPhone.
Very similar to THC Hydra is Medusa. This tool can run command lines that have the potential to test up to 2000 passwords in a matter of 60 seconds. It allows to run multiple processes to retrieve passwords – contextually these are all thread-based parallel processing working in tandem and empowering you to recover passwords belonging to multiple accounts. Medusa offers brute-force attacking and the user input and it deploys brute-force using IP address and the hostname.
OphCrack is one of the best free password cracking tools and is designed especially for the Windows platform. The tool features a simple user interface and one of the fastest cracking algorithms for password retrieval. It uses rainbow tables on the platform based on time-memory trade-off programming. It is touted to be the best in the business as it has the capability to retrieve close to 99.99 percent of passwords that are alphanumeric in a matter of seconds. The feature-rich rainbow table-based tool is loaded with many features and runs on multiple platforms.
L0phtCrack is a powerful tool that empowers you to retrieve and decipher cryptographic hash values and audit passkeys. In other words, a tool that serves you well when it comes to password auditing and recovery. It employs dictionary, brute-force, hybrid attacks, and rainbow tables to test the strength of the password and retrieve Microsoft Windows passwords. The tool features a user-friendly user interface and opens with a wizard seeking inputs to understand and commence to proceed with the search process.
Aircrack-NG provided a suite of tools to analyze WiFi network security and understand the underlying weakness once access to data packets is established. It prioritizes primarily on WiFi security – you can leverage it to monitor the security of the WiFi network, collect data packets, and export and store it in text files to further deep dive. In addition, it helps you to check WiFi cards and drivers. capabilities.
To be precise, AirCrack NG is an 802.11 WEP and WPA-PSK keys cracking software helping you to recover keys much quicker vis-à-vis other WEP cracking applications.
In summation, password cracking tools have been engineered to weed out complexities that pose as a deterrent in the process of cracking passwords. Now that you are aware of various password cracking tools, important is to stay the course!