Pipe Brute-force Attack via Password Generator

(Efficient and resource saving trick that was there for decades)

image of SMB brute-force from google images.

During password cracking you might decide to brute force a target hash,any service or online website, for that you may need/create heavy dictionaries which can take terabytes of data. But we can skip that step and feed the password directly from generator to brute-force automation software.

How much an eight digit long numeric password take on disk?

Let’s have a look on most basic and may-be-doesn’t-even-happen-today kind of scenario, creating a 8 digit numerical password with crunch.

8 digit numeric password size

858 MB for 8 digit numeric? not too big right, with our 1–2TBs of hard-drives it will do no harm to us.

let’s come to real-life condition now, step-by-step …

8 letter lowercase alphabets ? …

8 letter lowercase English charset

1 TB ! just for our new word-list, and to be honest I am writing this from my PC with total storage of 1TB … if i remove all the files and OSes then i may store it, but again i need OS to perform attacks ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

and this is last one fulfilling all the basic NEEDS OF MODERN WEBSITES.

  1. at least one UPPERCASE
  2. use of NUMBERS
  5. Alien species’s language and what ever your PC allows you to throw at login filed!



mixed-alphanumeric-special with space char-set

now unless you own a data storage farm to store 54303 TB of data, that would be ~ 27150 common 2TB storage drives, so let’s get over this problem by ‘piping’ the output directly to software rather than storing it in the device itself.

How to overcome this limitation?

Suppose we want to crack the hash of password ‘17652986’ now md5 of this hash ce5cff0195a6b059a3241c1b6202ab49 now we can either create a file of 8 digits numbers or can just pass the list from crunch directly to hashcat

crunch 8 8 123456789| hashcat -m 0 ce5cff0195a6b059a32411b6202ab49

notice the ‘|’ in the command? this is called ‘pipe’ it will change the standard output of the crunch command to to hashcat and the hashcat when supplied no word-lists, listens on standard input.

Flow of data from buffer to brute-force program directly (left figure) — (1)

Flow of data to hard-disk and then to the program (right figure) — (2)

Here we can already see (1) is much faster and efficient in practice as it does not interact with the hard-disk at all.

and you can see it took just 31 seconds to crack 8 digit numeric password !(highlighted), but that’s predictable and speed here was not our concern.


So, our motive here is complete as we have saved resources and hacking with all the skills is also all about speed, accuracy and efficiency.

Stay Caffeinated !

Cybersecurity Student. Researcher Wannabe.