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Date: Sun, 9 Apr 2006 04:44:07 +0400
From: Solar Designer <>
Subject: Re: john won't load hash file...

Yesterday, I wrote:
> P.S. You do not need to specify the "--format" explicitly.  In fact,
> it's better to not do that, letting John autodetect the hash type for
> you (out of ones supported in the given build of John).  This option
> should only be used when there are multiple hash types present in the
> password file(s) that you pass to John.

I had overlooked one special case - namely, that "--format" is also
needed when the encodings for two distinct hash types look exactly the
same.  This is the case for LM vs. NTLM vs. hex-encoded raw MD5 hashes.

So far, this only applies to builds of John with contributed patches

Maybe I should enhance John to print a warning when it sees ambiguous
hash encodings like that and "--format" is not used.

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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