Variables involved in calculating passwords per second for brute force?

Posted on 2014-01-29
Last Modified: 2014-02-11
When using a brute force password guessing software, what are the variables involved in calculating the amount of passwords per second that software can process?

More specifically in relation to tsgrinder I thought of:

-number of threads
-computer processing power
-medium used?!
Question by:cgruber
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
  • 2
  • 2
  • 2
LVL 38

Accepted Solution

Rich Rumble earned 250 total points
ID: 39818804
tsgrinder is a bruteforce password connection maker, not a password bruteforcer in the more traditional sense. TSGrinder is going to be slowed down by the network and the server it's attacking as opposed to JohnTheRipper or HashCat weak password finders.

TSgrinder expects a list of plain-text wordlist/dictionary, and then tries them against a Terminal Server. john and hashcat work against hashed passwords, and use dictionary/wordlist and rules that change those wordlists to match the same hash.

The only medium used is a TCP connection, the processing power of the tsgrinder is probably not much of a factor. TSGrinder is also less effective now since 2003 first introduced a lockout mechanism for this kind of attack against the administrator account. It used to be the administrator could not be locked out, now they can.
LVL 54

Expert Comment

ID: 39819011
Hi all.
>  since 2003 first introduced a lockout mechanism for this kind of attack against the administrator account
It did? Never heard that. I only know passprop from the NT4/win2k resource kit can be used for that purpose.
@cgruber: what's the context you are asking the question in?

Author Comment

ID: 39819035
So can one say that tsgrinder can process X passwords per second, without knowing all the variables involved?
Windows running painfully slow? Try these tips..

Stay away from Speed Up Computer Programs that do more harm than good.
Try these tips instead.
Step by step instructions in trouble shooting Windows Performance issues.


Author Comment

ID: 39819038
Arguing with a fellow worker who says tsgrinder can process 6 password per second at the most, where as I say that this figure is dependable on many factors.
LVL 54

Assisted Solution

McKnife earned 250 total points
ID: 39819082
Try it out.
You will not find people with experience with that tool, I am afraid. As there is a switch -n that can be altered, at least that suggests that it depends on the computing power of the machines that are involved. I don't know but I can't imagine only 5 pw/s are possible.
LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:Rich Rumble
ID: 39819337
It used to be just having a "connection banner" would be enough to get TSgrinder to lock up as it wasn't expecting that, not sure if it's been improved.
I guess I was wrong about the 2003 feature introduction, I must of been thinking about IPSEC's default exemptions.
You can however deny logon through TS for the administrator account

While you cannot lock the administrator out via TS/RDP you can disable the account which effectively will do the same thing.

TSGrinder is very old school, thought I'd never hear that name again :)

Featured Post

2017 Webroot Threat Report

MSPs: Get the facts you need to protect your clients.
The 2017 Webroot Threat Report provides a uniquely insightful global view into the analysis and discoveries made by the Webroot® Threat Intelligence Platform to provide insights on key trends and risks as seen by our users.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

OfficeMate Freezes on login or does not load after login credentials are input.
Did you know that more than 4 billion data records have been recorded as lost or stolen since 2013? It was a staggering number brought to our attention during last week’s ManageEngine webinar, where attendees received a comprehensive look at the ma…
With Secure Portal Encryption, the recipient is sent a link to their email address directing them to the email laundry delivery page. From there, the recipient will be required to enter a user name and password to enter the page. Once the recipient …
The Email Laundry PDF encryption service allows companies to send confidential encrypted  emails to anybody. The PDF document can also contain attachments that are embedded in the encrypted PDF. The password is randomly generated by The Email Laundr…

738 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question