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Date: Fri, 27 Jan 2006 07:48:45 +0300
From: Solar Designer <>
Subject: John the Ripper 1.7 is out


The long-awaited John the Ripper 1.7 release is out:

The changes made since the last development snapshot (1.6.40) are minor
(it's primarily the availability of official Win32 and DOS builds, in
addition to the source code for Unix systems), however the changes made
since 1.6 are substantial:

John the Ripper became a lot faster, primarily at DES-based hashes.
This is possible due to the use of better algorithms (bringing more
inherent parallelism of trying multiple candidate passwords down to
processor instruction level), better optimized code, and new hardware
capabilities (such as AltiVec available on PowerPC G4 and G5 processors).

In particular, John the Ripper 1.7 is a lot faster at Windows LM hashes
than version 1.6 used to be.  John's "raw" performance at LM hashes is
now similar to or even slightly better than that of commercial Windows
password crackers such as LC5, -- and that's despite John trying
candidate passwords in a more sophisticated order based on statistical
information (resulting in typical passwords getting cracked earlier).

John 1.7 also improves on the use of MMX on x86 and starts to use
AltiVec on PowerPC processors when cracking DES-based hashes (that
is, both Unix crypt(3) and Windows LM hashes).  To my knowledge, John
1.7 (or rather, one of the development snapshots leading to this
release) is the first program to cross the 1 million Unix crypts per
second boundary on a general-purpose CPU.  John 1.7 achieves up to
1.6M c/s raw performance (with no matching salts) on a PowerPC G5 at
2.7 GHz (or 1.1M c/s on a 1.8 GHz) and approaches 1M c/s on the fastest
x86 CPUs currently available.

Additionally, John 1.7 makes an attempt at generic vectorization support
for bitslice DES (would anyone try to set DES_BS_VECTOR high and compile
this on a real vector computer, with compiler vectorizations enabled?),
will do two MD5 hashes at a time on RISC architectures (with mixed
instructions, allowing more instructions to be issued each cycle), and
includes some Blowfish x86 assembly code optimizations for older x86
processors (Intel PPro through P3 and AMD K6) with no impact on newer
ones due to runtime CPU type detection.

Speaking of the actual features, John the Ripper 1.7 adds an event
logging framework (John will now log how it proceeds through stages of
each of its cracking modes - word mangling rules being tried, etc.),
better idle priority emulation with POSIX scheduling calls (once
enabled, this almost eliminates any impact John has on performance of
other applications on the system), system-wide installation support for
use by *BSD ports and Linux distributions, and support for AIX,
DU/Tru64 C2, and HP-UX tcb files in the "unshadow" utility.

Finally, there are plenty of added pre-configured make targets with
optimal settings, including for popular platforms such as Linux/x86-64,
Linux/PowerPC (including ppc64 and AltiVec), Mac OS X (PowerPC and x86),
Solaris/sparc64, OpenBSD on almost anything 32-bit and 64-bit, and more.

P.S. For those who have seen the 1.7 release candidate - the final
release is exactly the same. :-)

Alexander Peslyak <solar at>
GPG key ID: B35D3598  fp: 6429 0D7E F130 C13E C929  6447 73C3 A290 B35D 3598 - bringing security into open computing environments

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