Doing some hash rooms on THM and whenever I run the hash files they give me ill just start like this.

john --wordlist=rockyou.txt hashfile

It will run and then output with a bunch of warnings telling me what possible hash types it could be but the hash doesn't get solved. I can still solve it by running a hash identifier then giving it the --format=(w/e format) but my question is do I always need to give john the format? What if I have a list with mixed formats in there?

  • Even attempting to identify the hash isn't foolproof, since it can only make a determination based on digest size. 160 bits of digest could be SHA-1 or RIPEMD-160 or even SHA-512/160...
    – forest
    Jun 24, 2021 at 2:14

1 Answer 1


Have to? No. Sometimes even blind squirrels can find a nut. john will try to guess.

But if you hope to increase your chances for success, you should specify hash type and separate out different hashes of different types into their own files.

Given what john is meant for, it is highly unusual that it would used on a file that contains multiple hash types.

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