Cain and Abel – Hacking Swiss Army Knife

5This tool is really by far the easiest and most useful prog for Windowz users this side of the Rio Grande. After watching just a few short YouTube vids, you can be on your way to knowing how to collect passwords on a network, capture logins for websites, or breaking through wireless security protocols. Of course, you will only be doing this on your own networks, and not public ones… right?

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Cain and Abel (often abbreviated to Cain) is a password recovery tool for Microsoft Windows, produced independently of Microsoft. It can recover many kinds of passwords using methods such as network packet sniffing, cracking various password hashes by using methods such as dictionary attacks, brute force and cryptanalysis attacks. Cryptanalysis attacks are done via rainbow tables which can be generated with the winrtgen.exe program provided with Cain and Abel. Cain and Abel is maintained by Massimiliano Montoro and Sean Babcock.

Status with virus scanners

Some virus scanners (and browsers, e.g. Chrome 20.0.1132.47) detect Cain and Abel as malware.

Avast! detects it as “Win32:Cain-B” and classifies it as “Other potentially dangerous program”, while Microsoft Security Essentials detects it as “Win32/Cain!4_9_14” and classifies it as “Tool: This program has potentially unwanted behavior.” Even if Cain’s install directory, as well as the word “Cain”, are added to Avast’s exclude list, the real-time scanner has been known to stop Cain from functioning. However, the latest version of Avast no longer blocks Cain.

Montoro, the owner of and maintainer of Cain and Abel, has stated that his programs do not contain malware or backdoors. However, as the source code for Cain and Abel is not available for independent security review, a measure of caution is advised as with any software acquired from the Internet.


  • WEP cracking
  • Speeding up packet capture speed by wireless packet injection
  • Ability to record VoIP conversations
  • Decoding scrambled passwords
  • Calculating hashes
  • Traceroute
  • Revealing password boxes
  • Uncovering cached passwords
  • Dumping protected storage passwords
  • ARP spoofing
  • IP to MAC Address resolver
  • Network Password Sniffer
  • LSA secret dumper
  • Ability to crack:
  • LM & NTLM hashes
  • NTLMv2 hashes
  • Microsoft Cache hashes
  • Microsoft Windows PWL files
  • Cisco IOS – MD5 hashes
  • Cisco PIX – MD5 hashes
  • APOP – MD5 hashes
  • CRAM-MD5 MD5 hashes
  • OSPF – MD5 hashes
  • RIPv2 MD5 hashes
  • VRRP – HMAC hashes
  • Virtual Network Computing (VNC) Triple DES
  • MD2 hashes
  • MD4 hashes
  • MD5 hashes
  • SHA-1 hashes
  • SHA-2 hashes
  • RIPEMD-160 hashes
  • Kerberos 5 hashes
  • RADIUS shared key hashes
  • IKE PSK hashes
  • MSSQL hashes
  • MySQL hashes
  • Oracle and SIP hashes
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