Cracking Passwords with Hashcat

Cracking Passwords with Hashcat  Medium

This module covers the fundamentals of password cracking using the Hashcat tool.

Created by mrb3n
Co-Authors: ippsec, MinatoTW

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This module introduces the fundamentals of password cracking, with a focus on using Hashcat effectively. During security assessments, we often run into times when we need to perform offline password cracking for everything from the password hash of a password-protected document to password hashes in a database dump retrieved from a SQL Injection attack or a variety of different hash types retrieved during the course of a penetration test of an Active Directory environment. Cracking a password hash may be necessary for furthering access during an assessment or demonstrating to a client that their password policy needs to be enhanced by cracking password hashes and reporting on metrics such as password complexity and password re-use. In this module, we will cover:

  • An intro to password cracking
  • An overview of Hashcat
  • Hashcat attack types
  • Cracking common hashes
  • Creating custom wordlists
  • Using Hashcat rule sets
  • Using Hashcat masks

This module is broken down into sections with accompanying hands-on exercises to practice each of the tactics and techniques we cover. The module ends with a practical hands-on skills assessment to gauge your understanding of the various topic areas.

As you work through the module, you will see example commands and command output for the various topics introduced. It is worth reproducing as many of these examples as possible to reinforce further the concepts introduced in each section. You can do this in the Pwnbox provided in the interactive sections or your own virtual machine.

You can start and stop the module at any time and pick up where you left off. There is no time limit or "grading," but you must complete all of the exercises and the skills assessment to receive the maximum number of cubes and have this module marked as complete in any paths you have chosen.

The module is classified as "Medium" but assumes a working knowledge of the Linux command line and an understanding of information security fundamentals.

A firm grasp of the following modules can be considered prerequisites for successful completion of this module:

  • Networking Fundamentals
  • Linux Fundamentals


  • Intro to Password Cracking
  • Hashing vs. Encryption
  • Identifying Hashes
  • Hashcat Overview
  • Dictionary Attack
  • Combination Attack
  • Mask Attack
  • Hybrid Mode
  • Creating Custom Wordlists
  • Working with Rules
  • Cracking Common Hashes
  • Cracking Miscellaneous Files & Hashes
  • Cracking Wireless (WPA/WPA2) Handshakes with Hashcat
  • Skills Assessment - Hashcat

Relevant Paths

This module progresses you towards the following Paths

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Basic Toolset

Medium 50 Sections

Cubes Required: 260

In this path, modules cover the basic tools needed to be successful in network and web application penetration testing. This is not an exhaustive listing of all tools (both open source and commercial) available to us as security practitioners but covers tried and true tools that we find ourselves using on every technical assessment that we perform. Learning how to use the basic toolset is essential, as many different tools are used in penetration testing. We need to understand which of them to use for the various situations we will come across.

 Network Enumeration with Nmap

Easy 12 Sections

Nmap is one of the most used networking mapping and discovery tools because of its accurate results and efficiency. The tool is widely used by both offensive and defensive security practitioners. This module covers fundamentals that will be needed to use the Nmap tool for performing effective network enumeration.

 Login Brute Forcing

Easy 11 Sections

Learn how to brute force logins for various types of services and create custom wordlists based on your target.

 Attacking Web Applications with Ffuf

Easy 13 Sections

This module covers the fundamental enumeration skills of web fuzzing and directory brute, forcing using the Ffuf tool. The techniques learned in this module will help us in locating hidden pages, directories, and parameters when targeting web applications.

 Cracking Passwords with Hashcat

Medium 14 Sections

This module covers the fundamentals of password cracking using the Hashcat tool.

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