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I have a Word document that is password protected. Am I wrong in assuming that if I know nothing about the password that it’s basically a waste of time trying to crack it?

I do remember it’s two short words put together.

My problem is I have no idea how to make a list of all those word combinations. I’ve tried using the English dictionary but it seems absurd to try to make a list of all English words, say, of length 5 or shorter, and put them together With shorter words to make a list. For example, "springegg" or "hotone".

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  • What is your question?
    – MechMK1
    May 13 at 14:09

1 Answer 1

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There are approximately 50,000 words in the English language that are 5 characters or less. If you are sure that your password was comprised of two English words that are each 5 characters or less, then that's a space of about 2.5 billion possible passwords (50,000 * 50,000 = 2.5 billion).

Programs like Hashcat and John The Ripper running on a modern desktop or laptop system can crack passwords in much larger spaces within a few days. So, you might be in luck.

You'll need to construct a list of possible passwords to feed to one of the above programs - based on your knowledge that the password is comprised of two English words that are each 5 characters or less. See Need help generating list with crunch for a similar question involving the creation of a similar list. Or, better yet, apply @nobody's suggestion below of using hashcat's combinator attack (ht, nobody).

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    That's going to be a somewhat large wordlist. Since it is luckily exactly two words, hashcat's combinator attack should work better.
    – nobody
    May 13 at 15:06
  • Thanks @nobody. I wasn't aware that hashcat had such an option. That's definitely better than constructing a list.
    – mti2935
    May 13 at 15:07
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    You could also do it with John's PRINCE mode and force it to use two elements --prince=words.txt --prince-elem-cnt-min=2 --prince-elem-cnt-max=2
    – Gh0stFish
    May 13 at 15:44
  • Note that there are less than 8k somewhat common words with 5 or fewer characters (going off a dictionary I've got with about 60k words, which includes ones as unusual as "abaft" but not too much more). Starting with those is much more reasonable. May 13 at 23:51
  • Is it possible I can have that list of somewhat common words?
    – Rgh001
    May 15 at 14:12

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