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Hacking: The Art of Exploitation, 2nd Edition by Jon Erickson

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Password Cracking

Passwords aren't generally stored in plaintext form. A file containing all the passwords in plaintext form would be far too attractive a target, so instead, a one-way hash function is used. The best-known of these functions is based on DES and is called crypt(), which is described in the manual page shown below.

NAME crypt - password and data encryption SYNOPSIS #define _XOPEN_SOURCE #include <unistd.h> char *crypt(const char *key, const char *salt); DESCRIPTION crypt() is the password encryption function. It is based on the Data Encryption Standard algorithm with variations intended (among other things) to discourage use of hardware implementations of a key search. key is a user's typed password. salt is a two-character string ...

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