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Date: Thu, 20 Jul 2023 07:41:43 +0200
From: Giuseppe Kalos <>
Subject: Using Chinese characters

I'm trying to crack a 7z password that contains chinese characters, but I'm
having some problems. First of all, I'm working on Windows and in john.conf
I have DefaultEncoding set to UTF-8 and DefaultMSCodepage se to CP850.

If I try to make a custom charset with --make-charset, it will, no matter
what, take only 51 of the ca. 5000 characters I put in john.pot. If I try
with a mask, it gives the error "Error in Unicode conversion. Ensure
--input-encoding is correct", but even using --input-encoding=UTF-8 it
gives the same error. The only way I managed to make it kinda work is using
--subset: and pasting all the characters directly in cmd. This way it
starts, but when a session is aborted it cannot be restored, one again
because of the same Unicode conversion error I cited before. Adding
encoding commands like --input-encoding, --target-encoding does not solve
the issue.

All the files (john.conf, john.pot, john.rec, the txt file from where I
copied the chinese characters, the .log and .rec files of the various
sessions) are coded in UTF-8.

Am I doing something wrong? Is there an actual way of doing it I've been
missing this whole time?

Thank you in advance to anyone who can offer some insight.

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