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stephen munyao
stephen munyao


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Hashing is often confused with encryption. A simple difference is that hashed data is not reversible. Encrypted data can be reversed using a key. This is why applications like Telegram use encryption while passwords are hashed.

This approach is also what gives rise to hashing attacks. A simple way to attack hashes is to have a list of common passwords hashed together. This list is called a Rainbow table. Interesting name for a table of hashes.

Now we can start using hashcat with the rockyou wordlist to crack the MD5 hashes. The rockyou wordlist comes pre-installed with Kali. If you are not using Kali you can use another wordlist, or download it from here.

In this assignment we build code to reverse an MD5 hash using a brute force technique where we simply 'forward hash' all possible combinations of characters in strings. This would be similar to a situation where an e-commerce site stored hashed passwords in its database and we somehow have gotten our hands on the database contents and we want to take the hashed password and determine the actual plaintext passwords.

The simplest brute force approach generally is done by writing a series of nested loops that go through all possible combinations of characters. This is one of the reasons that password policies specify that you include uppper case, lower case, numbers, and punctuation in passwords is to makebrute force cracking more difficult. Significantly increasing the length of the password to something like 20-30 characters is a very good to make brute force cracking more difficult.

You should also print out the first 15 attempts to reverse-hash including boththe MD5 value and PIN that you were testing. You should also print outthe elapsed time for your computation as shown in the sample application.

Here are some possible improvements:For fun, crack all of the pins at the top of this document and figureout why each person chose their PIN. You can crack some but not all more complex hashed values using a site For fun, usethis site to crack all the above hash values.Make your application test a more complex character set like, upper case letters, lower case letters, numbers, and common punctuation.Change the code so when it finds a match, it breaks out of all four of the nested loops. So if the PIN turned out to be 1234 it would only runthat many times. Hint: Make a logical variable that you set to truewhen you get a match and then as soon as that becomes true, break out ofthe outer loops.Make your program handle longer strings - say six characters. At some point when you increase the number of characters and alphabet, itwill take longer to reverse crack the string.Change the debug output to print an attempt every 0.1 second instead of only the first 15 attempts.Super Advanced: Make your program handle variable length strings - perhaps looking for a string from 3-7 characters long. At some point just making more nested loops produces too much code and you should switch to a more complex but compact approach that uses a few arrays and a while loop. But this can be tricky to construct and prone to infinite loops if you are not careful.This is probably best not attempted unless you have some background inAlgorithms and Data Structures.As your program increases its character length, or tests longer passwords, it will start to slow down. Make sure to run these on your laptop (i.e. not on a server). Many hosted PHP systems prohibit these kinds of CPU-intensive tasks on their systems.

Think about this: An MD5 is always 128 bits long. That means that there are 2128 possible MD5 hashes. That is a reasonably large number, and yet it is most definitely finite. And yet, there are an infinite number of possible inputs to a given hash function (and most of them contain more than 128 bits, or a measly 16 bytes). So there are actually an infinite number of possibilities for data that would hash to the same value. The thing that makes hashes interesting is that it i


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