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Recovering passwords using Hybrid dictionary attack
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You may find it helpful to read our articles on Windows security and password recovery examples. Video section contains a number of movies about our programs in action

Password Recovery - hybrid dictionary attack

Hybrid dictionary attack is a form of simple dictionary recovery. However, unlike the latter, hybrid recovery allows a user to set his own word mutation rules. For example, you could capitalize the first letter of a password being validated, append '123' to it, replace the number 0 in it with the letter O, B with 8, etc.

Actions, performed on words from the source wordlist, are called rules.

Multiple rules can be applied to each source word.

Hybrid dictionary attack settings are grouped in 7 tabs:

  1. Dictionaries - for setting up source wordlists.
  2. Rules - files with a set of rules.
  3. Super-rules - ones to be applied over the top of regular rules.
  4. Dictionary generator, where you can create files of words obtained from the hybrid attack.
  5. Online dictionaries - for downloading new dictionaries to be used by the attack.
  6. Attack syntax - complete description of all rules with examples.
  7. Rule tester, where you can test your rules.


Wordlists to be used in the attack are set on the first tab. The program supports wordlists in ASCII, UTF8, UNICODE, PCD, RAR and ZIP format. The position of the files on the list can be altered. For example, you may want to move smaller wordlist up the list or the other way. During the recovery, they will be used one after another, according to their position on the list.

Hybrid dictionary recovery


On the Rules tab, you should define at least one file with password mutation rules. The format of the rules file is quite trivial; it is a plain-text ASCII file with the '[Rules]' string. Anything above this string is considered comments and ignored by the program. Whatever goes below this string is considered rules. Each string can contain several rules, applicable to a source word. If a string contains multiple rules per word, those rules are parsed left to right. For example, if you apply the rule '@pc$a$b$c' to the source word 'password', at the output you will get 'Asswordabc'.

The maximum length of an output word may not exceed 256 characters.
Hybrid dictionary mutation rules



'Super-rule' is a rule (or several rules) to be applied over the top of all other regular ones, before or after them. For example, you can set 'a8' tail super-rule to create all possible case combinations after a common mutation has been done. So '/asa4' rule from l33t.ini file will become '/asa4a8', '/csc(' will become '/csc(a8', etc. Yet another one example: setting the '>8' head rule allows you to skip all words of less than 8 or greater than 16 characters, before starting a common mutation. This is a helpful feature once you decide to add the same rule to all text lines of the selected *.ini files. There's no need to modify them all.

Be careful though, the 'aN' super-rule may increase the total number of generated passwords drastically (hundreds or even thousands of times).
Super-rules for the hybrid attack


Dictionary generator

The 'Dictionary generator' tab is designed for generating wordlists to be used in other programs for example. To generate a wordlist, specify a source dictionary and a set of mutation rules for it. The program supports large files (over 2 Gb).

Be careful, the dictionary generation process may take considerable time!
Dictionary generator

Online dictionaries

You can download additional wordlists for the attack using 'Online dictionaries' tab.


If you want to create your own set of rules, you can use the last two tabs as sources of help. While the 'Syntax' tab gives mere descriptions of available rules, on the last tab you can actually test them by specifying a word and a rule to be checked.

Creating new password mutation rules

Rules description for the hybrid dictionary attack

  • Several rules at a line are allowed to be set.
  • Rules are processed from the left to the right.
  • Maximal line length is limited to 256 characters.
  • Maximal output word length is limited to 256 characters.
  • All text before the [Rules] line is considered as a comment.
  • White space is ignored as long as it is not used as a parameter.
  • A line started with # character considered as a comment.
  • N and M always start at 0. For values greater than 9 use A..Z (A=10, B=11, etc.)
Forward your rule files to us; if we find them interesting, we will include them in the default distribution of the program.


Rule Example Input Output Description
: : password password Do nothing to the input word.
{ { password asswordp Rotate the word left.
} } password dpasswor Rotate right.
[ [ password assword Delete the first character.
] ] password passwor Delete the last character.
c c password Password Capitalize.
C C password pASSWORD Anti-capitalize - lowercase the first character, uppercase the rest.
d d password passwordpassword Duplicate word.
f f password passworddrowssap Reflect word.
k k password
Convert word using alternative (first after default) keyboard layout. The rule works in both directions. For example, if there's Russian keyboard layout installed previously in the system, the rule should convert word 'password' to Russian 'зфыыцщкв', and Russian word 'пароль' to 'gfhjkm'. This is very helpful when looking for non-English passwords. If only one language is installed in the system, the rule does nothing.
K K password passwodr Swap last two characters.
l l PassWord password Convert all characters to lowercase.
q q password ppaasssswwoorrdd Duplicate all symbols in a word.
r r password drowssap Reverse word.
t t PassWord pASSwORD Toggle case of all characters
u u password PASSWORD Convert to uppercase.
U U my own password My Own Password Capitalize all words delimited with space (upper-case the first character and every character after space).
V V password PaSSWoRD Vowels elite.
v v password pASSWoRD Vowels noelite.
'N '4 password pass Truncate the word to N character(s) length.
+N +1 password pbssword Increment character at position N by 1 ASCII value.
-N -0 password obssword Decrement character at position N by 1.
.N .4 password passoord Replace character at position N with character at position N+1
,N ,1 password ppssword Replace character at position N with character at position N-1. Where N > 0.
        Reject (skip) the word if it is greater than N characters long.
>N       Reject (skip) the word if it is less than N characters long.
aN a8     Check all possible symbol cases for the word. N is a maximal length of the word to apply this rule for.
DN D2D2 password paword Delete the character at position N.
pN p3 key keykeykey Copy word N times.
SLN SL2 012345678 01d345678 Bitwise shift left character at position N.
SRN SR2 password pa9sword Bitwise shift right character at position N.
TN T1T5 password pAsswOrd Toggle case of the character at position N.
yN y3 password paspasword Duplicate first N characters.
YN Y3 password paswordord Duplicate last N characters.
zN z3 password ppppassword Duplicate the first character of the word N times.
ZN Z3 password passwordddd Duplicate the last character of the word N times.
$X $0$0$7 password password007 Add character X to the end of the word.
^X ^3^2^1 password 123password Insert character X at the beginning of the word.
@X @s password paword Remove all characters X from the word.
!X !.     Reject (skip) the word if it contains at least one character X.
/X /1/2/3     Reject (skip) the word if it does not contain character X.
(X (p     Reject (skip) the word if the first character is not X.
)X )d     Reject (skip) the word if the last character is not X.
eX e@ mike@yahoo.com mike Extract a substring starting at position 0 and ending up before the first occurrence of X character (do nothing if X is not found).
EX E@e. mike@yahoo.com yahoo Extract a substring starting right after first found X character and till the end of the string (do nothing if X is not found).
%MX %20     Reject (skip) the word if it does not contain at least M instances of the character X.
*XY *15 password possward Swap characters at positions X and Y.
=NX =01     Reject (skip) the word if the character at position N is not equal to the X
iNX i4ai5bi6c password passabcword Insert the character X in position N.
oNX o4*o5* password pass**rd Overwrite a character in position N with the character X.
sXY ss$so0 password pa$$w0rd Replace all characters X with Y.
xNM x4Z password word Extract a substring of up to M characters length, starting from position N.
INX-Y rI0/-/r google.com google.com/ Insert the character X at position N if the previous character at position N is not Y.
INX+Y rI0.+.r password. password.. Insert the character X at position N if the previous character at position N is Y.
ONX-Y O0-+p password -assword If the character at position N is not Y, overwrite it with X character.
ONX+Y O0P+p password Password If the character at position N is Y, overwrite it with X character.
RNM+Y R01+a password assword Remove character at position N if the character at position M is Y
RNM-Y R40-b password passord Remove character at position N if the character at position M is not Y
Looking for a convenient way to handle as many passwords as possible? Downloading the set of over a half of a million sorted and duplicate-free rules.