Ethereum Wallet Cracking

Edit 04/01/18: Ethereum Wallet Cracking Pt 2. – GPU vs CPU can be found here

hashcat v3.6.0 was released yesterday and one of the newly supported hashes was Ethereum wallets (Go Ethereum (Geth), Mist and MyEtherWallet variants). This guide will show how a MyEtherWallet JSON keystore file is broken down, how it’s mapped to a hashcat compatible format, and finally an example crack.

First let’s get our wallet. That’s as easy as going to MyEtherWallet, entering a password, clicking generate and downloading it. MyEtherWallet suggests you “enter a strong password (at least 9 characters)”. Firstly this isn’t a suggestion it won’t let you generate your wallet unless your it’s at least 9 characters.  Secondly, I wouldn’t say 9 characters is particularly strong, but that’s an argument for another day. If you don’t set a wallet name, a default is provided (as ours is) which comprises of the UTC time/date generated, followed by your new Ethereum wallet address.

Our wallet’s password is P@ssw0rd1! and the generated keystore file can be found below which is coloured to show how it’s mapped to the hashcat compatible format.



hashcat Format


So from the above we can derive the following hashcat structure…


EDIT (17/07/17): Despite documentation showing the above structure due to transitions between ethereum2john versions, hashcat will accept both $ethereum$s*n*r*p*salt*ciphertext*mac (as shown in this example) and $ethereum$s*n*r*p*salt*mac*ciphertext formats.

…where s references scrypt variant in this instance. The letter p could also be found which indicates it’s a PBKDF2 variant. Fortunately makes the hashcat prep easy (you heard me right, ethereum2john for hashcat prep… ether2hashcat was superseded by it) by just pointing it at the wallet as shown below.


Now we’ve got the hash we can pass it over to hashcat. As we’ve got an scrypt based hash a quick lookup shows the required hashcat mode is 15700.

hashcat64.exe -m15700 $ethereum$s*1024*8*1*437964c9bd1b5f63bde56560808c894792f8f670694590b776e22381e32dd33b*7f5c865554d67604394ae54d7a4f9735bdb85c90e606a672d18add1d167d793b*96f2a849321cc04cb6c0fcee1bd4b195ca681ca28064dc45000f02e47230c5b6 b:\Dictionaries\rockyou.txt --status --status-timer=5 -w3 -r rules\hob064.rule


3 mins 41 secs @ circa 2200 H/s,  job done. FYI this laptop has a mobile GTX 1060.

A couple of general password cracking points to note here…

  • The passwordP@ssw0rd1! isn’t in the standard rockyou dictionary so assuming this dictionary is being used (and commonly is), a non-rule based attack wouldn’t have cracked it.
  • The rule –  They’re important, as I literally just said above 😀 . Algorithm complexity should always be a factor when choosing one. For example, I throw bigger rule sets against fast hashes (e.g. MD5, NTLM) as the speed you’ll crack at will exhaust the larger rule set quicker. As Ethereum scrypt hashes are heinously slow, I’ll throw smaller, more efficient rule sets (relative to size) against it first.

The hob064 rule set used above is very efficient and good first choice when attacking complex algorithms. I’ve already written about hashcat rule efficiency on NotSoSecure’s  blog (where you’ll note the most efficient rule tested was hob064). When attacking fast hashes I tend to use my own larger custo m rule, derived from a number of high performing rules against a large hash set. This custom rule was created from the testing noted in the above linked blog, and can be found here if you want to give it a go… although you’ll be waiting a while if you throw it against an Ethereum wallet with a good password!

Edit 04/01/18: A follow up covering why hashcat can crash on Ethereum wallets and GPU/CPU differences can be found in part 2.

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44 Responses to Ethereum Wallet Cracking

  1. Vadym says:

    Does not work for me: always finishes with Exhausted status.


    • Is your rockyou dictionary and hob064 rule modified in any way? The default dictionary rule will crack the example password used above. If you’re still having trouble paste your hashcat command here 🙂


  2. {“address”:”e5073c7e598a15ff6902f3d691e716be0dee8db1″,”crypto”:{“cipher”:”aes-128-ctr”,”ciphertext”:”602323b0d50e5f12f1ad61a271ab9e12629572d7c3d6ea3950b24f991d4ebdcb”,”cipherparams”:{“iv”:”4cfc5544fff57448955246170ba0db31″},”kdf”:”scrypt”,”kdfparams”:{“dklen”:32,”n”:4096,”p”:6,”r”:8,”salt”:”3384860f3e361300e07aa481a4157b48721411557192b486fa7d73d7669ef8f8″},”mac”:”9ef3b17d5f6aa97f1903bd93fa286d0341bb4dc59090065f024857cb216d38dc”},”id”:”00b6a2d8-7a4a-4252-842d-80799f4e9f7a”,”version”:3}


    • Hi there. I’m not sure what you’re asking by pasting that? Hashcat will accept that, but you’ll need to reorder the parameters into the order as shown in the post for ethereum2john to accept it. Doing so will provide the following hashcat format:


      Also, your wallet likely won’t crack on GPU’s (I couldn’t get it running) because of the memory requirement from your kdfparams. Trying it on GPU’s will liekly hang/crash the system. CPU cracking will work fine but the speed will be really slow (I got 115 h/s on yours).

      When you run hashcat it lists the devices (CPU, GPU etc) that are present. If your CPU is device 1 for example, run hashcat with your desired options but add -D 1 and it’ll work fine.


  3. Kma says:

    Hey, I tried the whole thing. give me the correct hash but when I run it when hashcat, I have the following error:

    > Hash ‘*n*r*p*salt*cypertext*salt’: Line-length exception

    (vars are obiously obfuscated)

    My N is huge, like 262144. What can I do?


    • You’ve got a couple of problems here, one of which I’ve outlined in the previous question.

      Firstly, if hashcat reports a Line-length exception, it typically means that either you’ve assigned the wrong hash type (in this case possibly -m15600 instead of -m15700 ?), or that the hash is incorrectly formatted (more likely). Please check that your string is *exactly* formatted as shown in my example. I haven’t tested ethereum2john’s error handling but ensure that your salt, mac and ciphertext are all correct.

      Both $ethereum$s*n*r*p*salt*ciphertext*mac (as shown in my example) and $ethereum$s*n*r*p*salt*mac*ciphertext formats will work.

      Yes, your high scrypt settings will mean that a GPU won’t be able to crack due to the memory requirement. You’ll need to solve your line length exception issue anyway, but after you’ve done that, you’ll only be able to attempt to crack using your CPU. Run hashcat with -b to identify which device your CPU is, let’s say it’s device #1… Then when attempting your Ethereum crack, append -D 1 to the end of them command and it’ll skip your GPU and perform a CPU crack which should work fine. It won’t crack quickly though!


      • ztop says:

        What is the determining factor of high scrypt settings? Why do n values vary so much between wallets? If you have some kind of general idea of the length of a password and the makeup of such a password, for example 3 words and a set of numbers in the middle would you be better off doing a mask attack, higher success rate? Thanks 🙂


      • As far as I know these settings differ between various implementations of scrypt. For example, in Ethereum, the scrypt defaults are n:262144, r:1, p:8 but different wallets may implement different factors.

        This post does a good job of describing what n, p and r are in scrypt. The tl;dr is that if n is very high, there’s a good chance you won’t be able to GPU crack it because you won’t have the RAM.

        If you have an idea as to the password’s structure, then you’re already in a much better position to crack it. I’d approach it the same way I would any hashing algorithm.

        E.g. if I knew there were numbers at either the start or end of a ‘3 word’ wordlist, I’d create the 3-word wordlist (This post shows you how to quickly create a list using hashcat’s combinator tool) and use it with a mask file containing your numbers (?d, ?d?d, ?d?d?d etc), running it once for each end. If we assume you’ll be CPU cracking due to the RAM problem, examples would be:

        -a6 -D1 -m15700 hashfile 3wordlist numbers.mask

        followed by

        -a7 -D1 -m15700 hashfile numbers.mask 3wordlist


  4. PC4USER says:



    • I’m afraid you’re going to have to be a little more specific!


      • PC4USER says:

        I’m sorry, sorry, that was a test because I wrote a bunch of posts and my antivirus blocks your site constantly, I have a problem with brute on the video card, help me please, the problem is that if without -D 1 my pc hangs completely and helps only the reset button, in your version $ ethereum $ s * 1024 * 8 * 1 and everything is fine, but in my versionnt 262144 * 8 * 1 please tell me whether it is possible to somehow run brute using a video card 262144 * 8 * 1 and PC did not hang? on 1024 * 8 * 1 does not hang, until the block on -D 1 11H/s on CPU i7 3770
        My pc –CPU i7 3370 / RAM 16gb / 2*gtx1060 6gb / ssd+hdd

        my hash:
        ????? Hashcat64.exe -m15700 -D 1 $ ethereum $ s * 262144 * 8 * 1 * 5af5c013e170e5506a972098ac631d1ea896813db05beb8e0c64f277bc12e61e * bc46586dc16add0cc22bf666e075fb064df73ec281ecffc626fda4288d56ea50 * bd3f8d428b655cb2a2ea2c54d6a7a6443e79d699edda6e31657fe63825e3868b 5e7Vqty l l l l l –status –status-timer = 5 -w3 – status –status-timer = 5 -w3

        I heard you can somehow reduce the load on the video card and this PC will not hang, so that not 100% of it brutila

        Yes, and there is a pre-correct password and with it seems to have once deduced funds, but this is not certain, maybe this is a bug if so how to solve it?


      • Your system will always hang as your kdfparams (262144*8*1) result in a large RAM requirement (meaning you can only CPU crack). I won’t go into the maths, but with those settings, a *single* GTX 1060 will need 160GB RAM (which of course you don’t have) to work on that hash. In other words, when you start hashcat, it’s trying to use 320GB RAM over both your cards and will bomb out. So unfortunately you’re stuck with -D1 or whatever number your CPU is listed as.

        Regarding your GPU load reduction, you’re probably referring to Time Memory Trade Off (TMTO), but you’ll barely get 1h/s going down that route so I honestly wouldn’t bother. Higher scrypt settings make it an algorithm that can be very resilient to GPU cracking.

        Liked by 1 person

      • PC4USER says:

        thanks, very detailed explained, maybe you know some more ways to find out the password? but then I do not know what to do with this problem, because even if 12 characters to brute at a rate of 1 milliard per second, it turns out 10 years)


      • PC4USER says:

        can reduce the load on the processor with brute, but lose 1 hash, but I can freely use the PC, do not tell me? your article is like salvation, thanks again


      • There isn’t another viable way that I’m aware of to crack high scrypt settings like those with any speed. You’re only choice is CPU cracking which will be slow. I typically wouldn’t advise brute-forcing the entire keyspace of a password because as you said, as the length of the password increases, the time required will become years very quickly. The practical way to crack passwords is by dictionary attacks, so unless the password to your wallet is something that would commonly be found in a wordlist, it’s probably not worth your time attempting to break it.

        Removing the -w3 will tell hashcat to use the “default” workload profile, which will make the system respond more. Using a -w3 will slow down responsiveness and -w4 will make it almost unusable.

        Liked by 1 person

      • PC4USER says:

        I’m flattered if I can still crack the password by all means, I’ll write to you and thank you, and even such a question, maybe somehow you can find out how many characters in the password on the hash? and could not explain how to brute the mask correctly? For example :
        – [Built-in Charsets] –

           ? | | Charset
          === + =========
           l | abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
           d | 0123456789
           h | 0123456789abcdef
           H | 0123456789ABCDEF
           s | ! “# $% & ‘() * +, -. / :; ? @ [\] ^ _` {|} ~
           a | ? l? u? d? s
           b | 0x00 – 0hff

        my password for example – 5e7Vqyp2Qrpd

        how do I properly write a mask for the last 3 characters so that she croaks both small and large and numbers at once?

        5e7Vqyp2Q?luhHs?luhHs?luhHs Probably like this?


      • You’ll never be able to work out how many characters the plain text password is from the hash. Hashing algorithms take an arbitrary length input and produce a fixed length output.

        Using your example password you could use a mask attack to try and crack it (but it still might take some time at CPU cracking speeds). If you want the last 3 characters masks you’d use 3 lowercase letters (assuming you knew the password), so you’d provide hashcat the following:

        Hashcat -a3 -m15700 -D1 hash 5e7Vqyp2Q?l?l?l

        If you didn’t know the last 3 characters and wanted to try just mixed-alpha you’d need a custom char set containing mixed alpha:

        Hashcat -a3 -D1 -m15700 -1 ?l?u hash 5e7Vqyp2Q?1?1?1

        And if you wanted to try all combinations for the last 3 places just use the first example but replace ?l for ?a

        Liked by 1 person

      • PC4USER says:

        ok, i dont know 3 last simbols i write this – 5e7Vqyp2Q?a?a?a yes? if i can last 3 simbols only big-small-number how write mask?


      • Yes. In that example the last 3 characters will be tested of mixed-alphanumeric and symbols. If you only wanted mixed alpha-numeric without symbols then you would create a custom character set similar to last response that assigns lower(?l), upper (?u) and numbers (?d) into a single character set:

        Hashcat -a3 -D1 -m15700 -1 ?l?u?d hash 5e7Vqyp2Q?1?1?1


      • PC4USER says:

        if GTX 1080 will need 160GB RAM (which of course you don’t have) to work on that hash but if i buy 20×1080 8gb in one farm=160gb? program start in vedeocard?


      • No this wouldn’t work either. When the maths is worked out for a GTX 1080 the RAM the requirement becomes 320GB per card. You could have 100x GTX 1080s and it still wouldn’t work because the RAM requirement is per GPU. Your card will always only have 8GB

        Liked by 1 person

  5. sahilesque says:

    Hey there, so this is going to sound pretty silly but I was hoping to crack my personal MyEtherWallet password. I set it up some days ago and forgot the password (yeah, i know). I tried using the pyethrecover tool ( since I’ve still got my keystore file on hand I figured i’ll supply a light dictionary and give it a go. Needless to say, I found it really laborious and it didn’t help in cracking my password.

    Can I use hashcat locally on my computer to try out different password combinations so that it works with that python script above? Any help would be greatly appreciated.


    • Hi, I haven’t seen that script before and although i’m sure it works fine, you may find better speeds using hashcat locally as it will better utilise your GPU. If you’ve got a JSON file like shown in the post then you should be able to identify and match the various elements required to pass it to hashcat. The post details what you need and the format hashcat expects.

      Wordlists like rockyou are pretty standard, however if you’ve got even a hint of what you thought your password was I would definitely add it into the start of the dictionary you use (or any passwords you think it might be). By giving hashcat some basic rules you may get lucky. Please remember that eth wallets use scrypt which is a really slow algorithm, so don’t expect very fast speeds.


      • sahilesque says:

        Hey thanks so much for your reply, and after learning some more about hashcat and re-reading this blog I’m convinced it has everything that I need to get myself started.

        I’m using v4.0.1 of hashcat on OS X but I keep getting hammered by the Line-length exceeded error. Here’s the output of the


        and the final command on my terminal ends up looking like this:

        hashcat -m15700 $ethereum$s*1024*8*1*5352338077a20d8078b96b4d9c53bdcf0a34a7fa33b760911ab7e17e0a2bf9ec*29ec32b07c8a1e8aefad249df3545cce9c921d8f5160e17b767914f33549ee3a*020b912e14a6cf2e8d5e632bf1f3dad4722f3d25625820d0cda5fc28d4637d33 rockyou.txt –status –status-timer=5 -w3 -r hob064.rule

        hashcat (v4.0.1) starting…

        OpenCL Platform #1: Apple
        * Device #1: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-7360U CPU @ 2.30GHz, skipped.
        * Device #2: Intel(R) Iris(TM) Plus Graphics 640, 384/1536 MB allocatable, 48MCU

        Hash ‘*1024*8*1*5352338077a20d8078b96b4d9c53bdcf0a34a7fa33b760911ab7e17e0a2bf9ec*29ec32b07c8a1e8aefad249df3545cce9c921d8f5160e17b767914f33549ee3a*020b912e14a6cf2e8d5e632bf1f3dad4722f3d25625820d0cda5fc28d4637d33’: Line-length exception
        No hashes loaded.

        Any ideas on how to proceed?


      • I tried your command and it worked without issue.

        Session……….: hashcat
        Status………..: Running
        Hash.Type……..: Ethereum Wallet, SCRYPT
        Hash.Target……: $ethereum$s*1024*8*1*5352338077a20d8078b96b4d9c53bd…637d33
        Time.Started…..: Sun Dec 17 10:28:43 2017 (4 secs)
        Time.Estimated…: Thu Mar 22 12:00:57 2018 (95 days, 1 hour)
        Guess.Base…….: File (b:\Dictionaries\rockyou.txt)
        Guess.Mod……..: Rules (rules\hob064.rule)
        Guess.Queue……: 1/1 (100.00%)
        Speed.Dev.#2…..: 112 H/s (87.08ms)
        Recovered……..: 0/1 (0.00%) Digests, 0/1 (0.00%) Salts
        Progress………: 520/918040576 (0.00%)
        Rejected………: 0/520 (0.00%)
        Restore.Point….: 0/14344384 (0.00%)
        Candidates.#2….: 123456 -> abc123
        HWMon.Dev.#2…..: Temp: 43c Util: 99% Core:1873MHz Mem:3802MHz Bus:16

        Line length exceptions are typically one/both of two things: incorrect mode or incorrect hash length received (i.e. typo/wrong format). Your mode is correct so it must be a character(s) in your string. Check that the asterisk delimiters are the correct character for example.

        As your error started with ‘*1024 it suggests that the $ethereum$s portion of the command wasn’t entered at the start (removing it from the start duplicates your exact error).

        If there was a typo further down the string you would have received “Salt-length exception. No hashes loaded.”

        Drop the status, rules etc, go over it carefully and make sure nothing’s incorrect first, then build it up.

        Also fyi, since v4 the core code has been re-written and you can generally sacrifice higher max password lengths for speed by adding -O


      • sahilesque says:

        Turns out that my shell was interfering with things; I merely took the output of the python file and saved it in a text file (hash.txt). This let me get to the next step!

        hashcat -m 15700 –force hash.txt rockyou.txt –status –status-timer=5 -w3 -r hob064.rule

        You’ll notice that I’ve included the “–force” flag because without it I get this message:

        * Device #2: Skipping unstable hash-mode 15700 for this device.
        You can use –force to override, but do not report related errors.

        I’m guessing the device drivers are screwed up? I guess i deserve that for installing this via brew.


      • Possibly yes, however I won’t lie I’m not 100% what that could be. Google shows someone else who’s had that with -m15700 however their GPU is different,

        Best thing to do is check to see if the error prevents it from finding a known password. So download a test wallet from MyEtherWallet or whatever, give it a password, check you get the same error without force, then run it with –force and use a dictionary containing just your password. If it cracks it I’d continue with your first wallet under the assumption that hashcat will crack it (if the pw is in your dictionary of course 😉 ).


  6. novikov433 says:

    hello! i need help brute passvord! my hash


    • I removed the list of potential passwords you provided as there was an email address present and I wouldn’t recommend exposing potential passwords publicly.

      You will need to CPU crack that so run your hashcat command and specify your CPU with -D

      You’ll see something like this when you start

      OpenCL Platform #1: Intel(R) Corporation
      * Device #1: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-7700HQ CPU @ 2.80GHz, skipped.

      OpenCL Platform #2: NVIDIA Corporation
      * Device #2: GeForce GTX 1060, 1536/6144 MB allocatable, 10MCU

      In this case my CPU is device 1 so I would append -D 1 to the end of my command


  7. Pingback: Ethereum Wallet Cracking Pt. 2 – GPU vs CPU | Stealthsploit

  8. Hi. I’m trying to bruteforce my passcode. All I know is that my password is 31 characters long and complete random mixture of upper and lower case letters, digits and symbols like “[/=-$@” and so on… Is this even possible to achieve? What settings to use? I’m getting an integer overflow warning on my mask. Thank you.
    PS: My command looks like this: ./hashcat -a3 -D1 -m15700 -1 ?a hashes.txt ?l?l?l?l?l?l?l?l?l?l?l?l?l?l?l?l?l?l?l?l?l?l?l?l?l?l?l?l?l?l?l


    • You won’t be able to brute force that length as the keyspace is way too big. On a 64-bit OS you’re limited to a keyspace that can be handled in 64-bits.

      2^64 = 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 (available keyspace on 64-bit)

      Keyspace of password = Char set ^ password length, so in your case …
      95^31 = 2.0390682574579068859408986143361e+61 (keyspace of 31 char password using full 95 ASCII set, i.e. mixed alpha-num with symbols)

      As 95^31 > 2^64, hashcat won’t handle it and to be honest that’s too much for modern hardware all together.

      On top of this, cracking scrypt is slow enough already, you’d never crack a 31 char password with it. The only possibility would be is if you knew the first 26 characters, for example, and then applied a mask for the last 5. I’m afraid you’re stuck with good old dictionary attacks (obviously you’d need to generate a dictionary containing 31 length candidates only)


  9. jerome says:

    Hello and thanks for this great and useful article !!
    Had the same problem as many here, Line-length exception No hashes loaded.
    Solved it by putting my hash in a text file and the command worked… same hash, no problem.
    ./hashcat -m 15700 hash11.txt rockyou.txt –status –status-timer=5 -w3 -r hob064.rule -D1 –force

    If somebody know a way to feed a script with a list of different password and extract a list of rules for them it will be a great help. Best to you all.


  10. jerome says:

    Hello again. And thanks for your tips, even if I didn’t crack my passwords yet, I would have learn how to play with hash cat and that’s great !! I would like to write an article based on your post to help the French community who are locked out of their wallet. Do you mind ? and would you like to be linked as source ? might cause an avalanche of stupid questions written in poor English LOL
    All the best


    • Happy for you to write something based on this and yes would appreciate it if you could back to this post. Email me the link once it’s up so I can point people there in the future if needed. Thanks.


  11. Patrick says:

    Hi Stealthsploit

    Do you happen to crack wallets for a fee?
    I currently have my JSON file and also have a pretty good idea of what my password is, but have no idea how to do a brute force or anything of that nature.



    • Hey, I wouldn’t ask for a fee. If you have a good idea about what it could be, I’d try a mask attack. Check my replies on the 10th/11th November last year on the first post about this, might be what you need.

      If you’re still stuck on mask attacks, DM me on twitter or email with more details.


  12. Hayley says:

    I am not tech savvy and was hoping someone could help me. I bought Crypteruim Tokens which we where told to move to a My Ether Wallet. I created one 0x64BAdB43514a92C0DBE8d54Fa5965C3f87e701AA and move my tokens to the account. A day later I was hacked and my tokens where first moved to : 0xff714f17dcf5d9db0cc3b814e415ace61f6cdb09 and than from this account to
    0xD31B1bEe0C9f42Cb47406D52a796d8a26C5CF802. All I want is my tokens back. Is there someone that can help My Ether Wallet help centre has done nothing to assist in this. I had 120.3546436767 Crypertium Tokens. I am very sad that this has happened. If you can help please email me with any additional information you need and I have created a new My Ether Wallet account as I am scared that it is easy to hack my previous one. PLEASE HELP! I think it is terrible that people can take what isn’t theirs this person has done this to lots of people you can see it if you search the wallets and not just tokens but coins and other tokens.


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