If you have completed a dictionary attack, but some passwords still have not been recovered, you have to follow up with a Mask attack. In this attack, the program tries to guess the password by trying every single combination of characters until the password is found. Mask attack is similar to a brute-force attack, but with rules to reduce the number of errant entries. The brute force attack is the slowest method of password attack, but can often be successful on short and simple passwords.
Mask attacks against password hashes are effective if you know the exact length or certain characters from the password string & this type of attack can be done more efficiently by using precomputed mask file that comes forth with the hashcat package. Implementation of the mask is reasonable because of it brute force all the impaired characters that craved to finalize the password string. What excites more is it takes no less than a minute to uncover the password. However, this does not obstruct people who don’t have sufficient information about the characters / length that have been used in the password. The strategy which I’m going to manipulate in this video is for those folks who don’t have any idea about the characters and the length or anything related to the password.
The password is 10 characters and the mask ?X’s are also 10 characters. In other words, we’re brute-forcing a password of exactly 10 characters in length. If it’s more or less, or anything isn’t as we think it is, we’re not going to succeed. That’s why we are going to use -i (increment) option in our command which will increment all the characters from 1 to 10. If the password is more than 10 characters, again the crack will fail.
Example of increment-
a (single char)
aaaaaaaaaa (10 char)
You may wonder why Hashcat?
Because Hashcat is world’s fastest password recovery tool, 330 GH/s on NTLM on GTX Titan X OC of world record.
(1 GH = One Billion Hashes). Unlike any other GUI password crackers, Hashcat can run through a command-line process which reduces the excess memory use.
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