Forum Thread: Desperately Need Assistance with Cain and NTLM Hash Dictionary Cracking

Hello, I have an NTLM hash from my Windows 7 computer. I created the account myself as a test. I know the password. I can load this hash into Cain, then load this test wordlist with the correct password that I know appended at the end of the test list. I then run the dictionary attack and it is successful. Now, I create a custom wordlist myself in Notepad and I insert the known password and the dictionary attack fails every time. I can even create a wordlist that ONLY contains the CORRECT KNOWN password and it fails every time. I am ready to pull out all of my hair and go Office Space on my computer. By Office Space, for those who haven't seen it, I want to take my computer out into the back yard and beat the shit out of it with a bat. Can anyone out there provide any explanation as to why a wordlist that definitely has the correct password in it will fail every time? I follow the exact same steps and one will work and then it won't. TIA

Join the Next Reality AR Community

Get the latest in AR — delivered straight to your inbox.

6 Responses

Without looking at your created files I can't be sure what is causing the problem. Make sure the file is properly formatted and that the file is saved as a txt file. Be careful as sometimes a program might interpret a white-space character as being part of the password. For example, spaces, tabs, etc... Basically though, I'm saying show us the failed files, not the one you know works :)

Thanks for the response. I changed the passwords for the test accounts on my machine to something random. I downloaded the test dictionary from and then appended (with Notepad) the correct passwords to the end of their test file (a txt file). When I run this through Cain, it successfully finds the passwords. I then put JUST those three correct passwords into a txt file using Notepad and saved it. When I run Cain using that txt file, it fails every time. Here are Mediafire links to the two txt files. Hopefully this isn't something stupid and simple that is happening. I do want to get it sorted, but hopefully I won't look like a complete noob. :)
EDIT: I also tried Hashcat and L0phtCrack with no luck.

Here are comparisons of the two files in Notepad++ showing the same carriage returns and line feeds in both documents. They look identical to me except for the file containing additional words. They use the same encoding as well. I have tried different encoding with no luck.

I tried generating the wordlists and doing it by hand on another PC. I also ran Cain on this other PC. Same results again. I'm seriously ready to give up. I don't know wtf the magic formatting should be to make a wordlist, but I apparently don't know it. I can take two lists with the exact same formatting and encoding and one will work and the other will not. If I start adding my own entries to the one that works, it will eventually stop working too. I tried CUPP on Linux and apparently the script is broken. It won't run properly. I tried to fix it following something I found online. That go me a little further, then it bombed again. I don't know anything about coding, so I cannot fix it. I also tried crunch on Linux but couldn't figure out how to even run it. L517 seems to be a really good option for Windows, but the lists won't work. It creates output of a standard txt file that appears to be formatted correctly, but like the ones that I make by hand, it doesn't work. I'm amazed that other people don't run into this and I'm amazed that all over the net it talks about using custom word lists, but I can't find anything that explains exactly how to make one. The only reason might be because it's "supposed" to be so simple that it doesn't need explaining. However, it never works.

Try removing the CR (carriage return) characters, instead leaving just the LF (line feed) character. Windows is the only OS that uses CRLF for new lines instead of just LF, so I wonder if that's throwing it off. If that doesn't do it, you might also try saving in ASCII instead of UTF-8.


Wish I could help. It IS a very simple process. Usually, as long as the file is created in Notepad or Notepad++, then no problem. It just works. I'm wondering if there is something unique about your setup, but what it is, escapes me. For some reason, your system is adding some encoding to the file that makes your words unrecognizable.

Sorry I can't be more help, but if something occurs to me, I'll get back to you.


Share Your Thoughts

  • Hot
  • Active