I am trying to get access to my eReader and I managed to get the passwd file.


I expected to see a standard hash string there or just "x" but this reminds me of something I have seen in MySQL databases, can anyone point me in the right direction please? What am I looking at?


1 Answer 1


Crypt based password hashes have several parts separated by $

  • The hash type, 1 in your case, this stands for MD5-crypt (this is not plain MD5)
  • The salt, hdhxObPx in your case
  • The actual hash TYFuTKsB9GGIgo53rF4bi1 in your case
  • Some schemes have additional parameters, such as a work-factor, but this does not apply to the scheme used in your example.

The MD5-Crypt scheme should be avoided, in favor of modern schemes, such as bcrypt (usually starting with $2a$). Not because MD5 is cryptographically broken, but because it has a constant work-factor, that's too small for the computational power modern attackers can field.

Check out crypt (C) on Wikipedia for further information.

  • $\begingroup$ "First the passphrase and salt are hashed together, yielding an MD5 message digest. Then a new digest is constructed, hashing together the passphrase, the salt, and the first digest, all in a rather complex form. Then this digest is passed through a thousand iterations of a function which rehashes it together with the passphrase and salt in a manner that varies between rounds. The output of the last of these rounds is the resulting passphrase hash." means I should probably look for a different vector af attack, right? $\endgroup$
    – nana
    Jun 18, 2012 at 18:50
  • $\begingroup$ The standard attack vector is guessing the password. Since GPUs are fast, you can use many password candidates. $\endgroup$ Jun 18, 2012 at 19:05
  • $\begingroup$ I have John running already, with default settings and only slightly larger dictionary. This is not something I normally do that's why I don't really understand it. I just need to get in so I can install my own OS on it and make the device usable. I only have a laptop, without decent GPU. $\endgroup$
    – nana
    Jun 18, 2012 at 19:52
  • $\begingroup$ +1. Recently people at Wikipedia shuffled things around. Is crypt (C) on Wikipedia what this answer ought to link to? $\endgroup$
    – David Cary
    Aug 4, 2013 at 0:54

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