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How the Magic Man cracked an ICO password

Pt. 3: Tezos ICO password cracked, one more approach

In part 1, using a computer with Ubuntu and a NVIDIA RTX graphics card, we setup an environment for the John the Ripper password cracking tool to take advantage of OpenCL and the NVIDIA graphics card for high frequency password cracking.

In part 2, we learned about applying masks and using wordlists with rules in the event that you were confident enough in the characteristics of the lost password.

In part 3, we will present how we ended up cracking this smaller ICO wallet and how you can apply a similar strategy. It won’t be too hard in terms of Linux stuff. The main part will be editing a couple of files in the text editor. Don’t worry, you can do it!

Overview of what we’ll do below:

Create a file and populate it with characters and words Use that file to generate a new character set Edit John the Ripper’s configuration file to include this new character set Use that new character set to crack the Tezos ICO password

John the Ripper has the ability to generate a new character set based on the contents of a file. Typically, one would populate this file with large sets of candidate passwords from previous hacks. Instead, we’re going to use this feature to build our own character set for a focused approach.

The resulting character set file not only contains the specified characters but also takes into account the frequencies of the different characters (or their estimated probabilities) and frequencies of different character pairs and triplets (or estimated conditional probabilities of their last characters). So the more probable passwords and bits of probable passwords that you can provide in the example below, the better chance you’ll have at cracking it.

This also works to reduce the amount of combinations that have to be tried by reducing the amount of characters used from the ASCII 95 set.

Navigate to John the Rippers’s run directory and create/open the ...

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Disclaimer: These summaries are provided for educational purposes only by Nelson Rosario and Stephen Palley. They are not legal advice. These are our opinions only, aren’t authorized by any past, pres...