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How do I decode encrypted password files?

by faq_monk (Initiate)
on Oct 08, 1999 at 00:29 UTC ( #716=perlfaq nodetype: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

Current Perl documentation can be found at perldoc.perl.org.

Here is our local, out-dated (pre-5.6) version:

You spend lots and lots of money on dedicated hardware, but this is bound to get you talked about.

Seriously, you can't if they are Unix password files - the Unix password system employs one-way encryption. It's more like hashing than encryption. The best you can check is whether something else hashes to the same string. You can't turn a hash back into the original string. Programs like Crack can forcibly (and intelligently) try to guess passwords, but don't (can't) guarantee quick success.

If you're worried about users selecting bad passwords, you should proactively check when they try to change their password (by modifying passwd(1), for example).

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