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Link to original writeup (external, pdf)


Members 16
Handles Admin, -=Cerberus=-, .Scorpio., dda, H0AX, Fzero, Kaiser, lindros, mastercracker, Mastermind, passcape, POLIMO, Porr3, teraflopgroup, test0815, Tyra
Software Hash Manager / HM Tools, oclHashcat / cudaHashcat, Extreme GPU Bruteforcer, John the Ripper, Unified List Manager (ULM)
Hardware Roughly 100 CPU cores, and roughly 50 graphics cards.

Crack Me If You Can 2015

InsidePro Team



Before the CMIYC competition, we have developed a client for managing statistics, cracks, left lists, etc. This client was tested in the HashRunner competition and after a couple of improvements, was ready for the real test. We had also setup TeamSpeak server for main communications, a Google spreadsheet for splitting tasks amongst the team and a forum board for more elaborate messages. Finally, we have prepared a module to crack the new Argon2 hashes just in case they would have been part of the contest.

General strategy

Our global strategy pretty much stayed the same: Free for all in the first 12 hours focusing mainly on the fast hashes and then identify patterns to apply to the other hash types. Once a pattern is found to be present in the slow hashes, a group task is created to either quickly get the cracks out or to quickly see if the pattern is not worth pursuing.


Like planned we went for the free for all approach in the first hours of the contest. However because of the submission format and the fact that the member responsible for password submission was working at the beginning of the contest, we were not able to properly submit our cracked list before around 12 hours into the contest.

It was quickly noted that all passwords contained special/national characters so one of the approaches was to filter all the wordlists for only words with at least one of these characters in them. One of the patterns noticed was the Korean alphabet concatenated together such as "ieungpieups sangdigeut". We had hits in pretty much all algorithms with this pattern but the member who got them in the first place is unknown.

Using all the passwords gotten in the first day of cracking, one of our members created a custom charset on JTR and got several hits on various algorithms. The blowfish hashes kept us busy on trying to find new patterns besides the Korean alphabet. We did have a couple of passwords with Japanese words concatenated but could not find an attack with a reasonable keyspace to cover in time and get hits. At least we got some reasonable amount of hits on the SHA512crypt using a wordlist with passwords only in $HEX[] format that one of our member had. This has been the main group task that lasted almost the entire contest. Finally 2 other approaches did give some good results: 1) rules that insert special characters at every position of the word and 2) using the random rule generator of oclHashcat.

Last words and comments

First of all, we really want to thank KoreLogic's team for hosting this great contest again this year. We also found enlightening, the "About this year's contest" that was published right after the end of the contest. We can't say that we are now ready for UTF-8 but at least we have raised our awareness about it. We do understand the logic behind this contest (and the ones before that) but it did remove a bit of the fun doing the contest almost exclusively with special characters which are not that common in the hashes we get in our hands on yearly. We want also to congratulate Hashcat's team that took the lead and kept it the whole contest. They were really one notch above the other teams and we'll all have to improve to get them a better challenge next time. Congratulations also to Cynosure Prime for being the best emerging team (O.K., they are the only new team in the pro section but they did very well).
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