# What would be the most effective way to brute force a 16 char AES key?

I have a file that is encrypted in AES using a 16 char string. The string is (a-zA-Z0-9) and .,?!. Also, it only contains words from a dictionary (but they can be lower/upper case). What would be the most effective way to brute force this?

(No, I'm not trying to brute force passwords. Who would store passwords in AES…)

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Putting a password directly into an AES key for encryption is just as stupid as using the same scheme instead of standard password hashing. –  CodesInChaos Jul 28 '12 at 23:13
I know. This isn't a password. I explicitly said this wasn't me trying to hack a password. It's for a video game. (They encrypt the filename table so you can't read it properly). –  Alex Reed Jul 29 '12 at 7:17
@AlexReed Perhaps no need to brute force, just read the password from the game's executable. With some luck it's just stored there as a constant string in some data section. Did you try that? –  Thomas Jul 29 '12 at 10:44
The table is encrypted upon compile, the engine never needs to read it as it's only there for developers. As the engine never needs to read it, they don't put it in the engine. Sadly. –  Alex Reed Jul 29 '12 at 10:52
You seem to have a few conflicting things in your question. You say it was (a-zA-Z0-9) and .,?!. yet you also say it only contains words from a dictionary. I don't see many dictionary words with 0-9 or the punctuation marks listed. Are there some substitutions expected? –  mikeazo Jul 29 '12 at 20:13