I think I may have mentioned in another post that my eyes were opened pretty wide when I found out that hashcat could be run on Windows. I took it to a new level this week.
For the past couple years of DEFCON, I’ve been collecting all of the password files that I could find. In all, I have around 12 TB of them in several forms. Some are for GSM, and others are simple text files used by hashcat. My original configuration of my hacking network had a ParotOS computer with the hard drives containing the data in them. I would use this separate computer to play around with hashcat, while using another one on Kali Linux to play with hacking and forensics. I never had a Windows computer until I built the rig that I use today which has several virtual machines running through VMWare Workstation.
When I built this rig at the beginning of this new journey, my intention was to consolidate some computers. My power bill was quite high, and the temperature in my office was off the charts. By consolidating, it made things so much easier! I have hated Windows my entire adult life, but now find a certain joy in the readily available programs that the Windows community has to offer. I still have the dark spot in my heart for the OS because of the difficulty of configurations, and lack of detail in the logs, but put that to the side when there’s an ease of use. Talking to friends on Discord, and even playing games with them (I’m not a gamer) is convenient and easy. So I’ll take solace in my VMs, but will probably continue to use Windows for the foreseeable future.
So for about a week, while I was consolidating, I was trying to decide how I would house these password files and use them when needed. The video card I have is quite good, but can’t be used in a VM. I began with placing them on a Synology NAS so that I would have the option of booting into a different OS to run hashcat. This would have been okay, however I didn’t want to be without my computer for that long. Instead, I decided to purchase an external GPU case, and use a Thunderbolt 3 cable to connect my GPU to an Intel NUC running either Kali or Parot OS. When I received the NUC, it worked just fine.. but needless to say, I was without my GPU on my main rig.
…that’s when watching so much YouTube, Twitch and courses comes in!
TheCyberMentor course that I was taking at the time was explaining hashcat, and showing a particular hack that required it. I noticed right away that he used Windows to do so, even though his course was taught on Kali. Pretty much right away, I stopped the video, googled for the Windows version of hashcat, installed it, and ran a command for it. It worked like a charm! There was nothing different with this than from what I was using on those Linux machines. Immediately, I started forming a plan for those password files.
I installed a 12 TB hard drive into my main rig and moved all of the files over. That story should be a different post, but basically, it took me a complete day to get a shared drive from Windows mounted onto Kali! I didn’t mind, though; I never do. I learned quite a bit in that experience as well.
So as soon as the files were transferred over, I got to my baseline of which I have been searching for some time. I will use my main rig for everything! The Kali VMs will take care of the hacking part, and the Windows hashcat can do the calculations for password hacking at the same time. What a joy!