Threat Level: green Handler on Duty: Rob VandenBrink

SANS ISC: Failed Malspam: Recovering The Password - SANS Internet Storm Center SANS ISC InfoSec Forums

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Failed Malspam: Recovering The Password

Jan's diary entry "One way to fail at malspam - give recipients the wrong password for an encrypted attachment" got my attention: it's an opportunity for me to do some password cracking :-) I asked Jan for the sample.

Just like Jan noticed, I saw that the sample is not actually a 7zip file, but a ZIP file. This could be a mistake by the malware authors, or it could be deliberate: 7zip is able to decompress a ZIP file with extension 7z.

And I confirm that AWB3604 is not the password.

Since it's a ZIP file, I first used my tool: it has a leightweight password cracking feature.

But that did not help:

Then I turned to John the Ripper. I used zip2john to create a hash for the sample, and created a password list file with a single line: AWB3604. And then I let JtR use all of its built-in rules on this "dictionary":

One of JtR's rules transformed the presumed password AWB3604 into 3604, and that turned out to be the actual password.




Didier Stevens
Senior handler
Microsoft MVP


638 Posts
ISC Handler
Jul 26th 2021

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