Password cracking challenge

What makes a secure password? We think that the best way to answer this question is by trying to crack passwords and learning what’s easy and what’s not. In issue 8 of Linux Voice, we’re challenging the internet to a cracking contest.

You can download the challenge file from here This is a real shadow (i.e. linux password) file generated by an Ubuntu 14.04 system with 100 users (conveniently named 1 .. 100). You challenge is to see how many you can crack. Whoever cracks the most wins an exclusive Linux Voice Winner’s t-shirt.

crack passwords, win clothes and show off to your friends

crack passwords, win clothes and show off to your friends

To enter, simply send a list plain-text cracked passwords to The closing date for entries is 25th October 2014.

Should two or people send in the same number of cracked passwords, the first entry with the most passwords wins.

If you don’t know how to crack passwords, we recommend starting with John The Ripper (, or better yet, pick up a copy of Linux Voice issue 8 for a beginner’s guide. It should be available in newsagents in the UK now, and should arrive in stores around the world soon.

Here are the files for the magazine article: md5s-short and passwords.md5

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