Windows Password Cache


Now with more Password Caching power! ==>

Recovering Windows Password Cache Entries [pdf]

This document is ment to be a revised version of a tutorial found on ( The document is no longer up to date and the links in the document no longer work.

Windows domain users authenticate against a Domain Controller when they login. However, there are times when the Domain Controller is unavailable. To allow a user to authenticate Windows stores the password hash in the registry if they had previously logged on to the workstation or server. Windows stores by default the last ten users to authenticate on the workstation or server.

The first utility to be able to extract these stored hashes was cachedump. This utility is no longer available from the original site but can be found if you search

A new (now old as of 2010) utility, written by Read Arvin, has surfaced that includes the features of cachedump but allows it to be accomplished remotely. Reed’s site is no longer available. You can obtain PWDumpX from here.

Description formally found at See Internet Archive page here.

Allows a user with administrative privileges to retrieve the domain password cache, the password hashes, the password history hashes and the LSA secrets from a Windows system. This tool can be used on the local system or on one or more remote systems.

Description from

PWDumpX allows a user with administrative privileges to retrieve the domain password cache, password hashes and LSA secrets from a Windows system. This tool can be used on the local system or on one or more remote systems. If an input list of remote systems is supplied, PWDumpX will attempt to obtain the domain password cache, the password hashes and the LSA secrets from each remote Windows system in a multi-threaded fashion (up to 64 systems simultaneously). The domain password cache, password hashes and LSA secrets from remote Windows systems are encrypted as they are transfered over the network. No data is sent over the network in clear text. This tool is a completely re-written version of cachedump, PWDump3e and LSADump2 which integrates suggestions/bug fixes for PWDump3e and LSADump2 found on various web sites, etc.

Using PwdumpX to obtain password hashes. Note you must have a local administrator account on the server to obtain the hashes.

For the purposes of this documentation I have created a test domain with test users.

C:\tools\PWDumpX 1.4>pwdumpx
PWDumpX v1.4 |

Usage: PWDumpX [-clph] <hostname | ip input file> <username> <password>

[-clph] -- optional argument
<hostname | ip input file> -- required argument
<username> -- required argument
<password> -- required argument

-c -- Dump Password Cache
-l -- Dump LSA Secrets
-p -- Dump Password Hashes
-h -- Dump Password History Hashes

If the <username> and <password> arguments are both plus signs (+), the
existing credentials of the user running this utility will be used.

PWDumpX + +
PWDumpX administrator password

PWDumpX -lp MyWindowsMachine + +
PWDumpX -lp MyWindowsMachine administrator password

PWDumpX -clph IPInputFile.txt + +
PWDumpX -clph IPInputFile.txt administrator password

(Written by Reed Arvin | HIDDEN EMAIL)

C:\tools\PWDumpX 1.4>pwdumpx -clph administrator $3cr3tp@$$w0rd
Running PWDumpX v1.4 with the following arguments:
[+] Host Input: ""
[+] Username: "itadmin"
[+] Password: "$3cr3tp@$$w0rd"
[+] Arguments: "-clph"
[+] # of Threads: "64"

Waiting for PWDumpX service to terminate on host

Retrieved file
Retrieved file
Retrieved file
Retrieved file

C:\tools\PWDumpX 1.4>

For the purpose of this discussion we will be focusing on the contents of which are below.


Cracking these password hashes can be accomplished a couple of ways. The original article from references a patch for Openwall’s John the Ripper password cracker. This patch is no longer available from the links provided on the site and the patch is for an older version of John which may be difficult to obtain as well. All is not lost. I have an already patched version of John available on this site that you can compile, install, and use to crack MSCASH password hashes.

Download myjohn.tgz from
Unpack the Tarball and compile for you system. No need to install as you may already have a more updated version of John installed and we do not want to overwrite it. Just run the executable from the run folder. See below.

root@edge-linuxpen:~/downloads# tar zxf myjohn.tgz
root@edge-linuxpen:~/downloads# cd john/src
root@edge-linuxpen:~/downloads/john/src# make generic
root@edge-linuxpen:~/downloads/john/src# ../run/john --wordlist=/home/edge/mangled.lst --format=mscash /media/EDGE/
Loaded 6 password hashes with 6 different salts (M$ Cache Hash [Generic 1x])
Asdf999 (sevans)
guesses: 1 time: 0:00:00:46 100% c/s: 4515K trying: 8zyme - 8zzgl

The password list used is from Openwall’s CD they offer from their site for under $30 (

I have written a quick tutorial on how to obtain the latest version of John, patch it with the Jumbo patch (includes support for MSCASH/MS Cache). That tutorial can be found here.

Another way to crack the password hashes is to use Cain & Abel on Windows. Cain does not support importing of the PwdumpX hash file. The file will have to be manually changed to the format supported by Cain. The file that needs to be edited is the CACHE.LST file found in the root folder for the Cain application. Typically C:\Program Files\Cain

PwdumpX file format: user:hash:domain:domain
Cain CACHE.LST format: domain[tab]user[tab][tab]hash[tab]

A simple Perl script is include below to assist in the file conversion.


$infile = @ARGV[0];
chomp $infile;
open(INPUT, "$infile")||die("Can't open file");

foreach $line (@raw_data){
chomp $line;
@temp = split(/:/, $line);
print "$temp[2]\t$temp[0]\t\t$temp[1]\t\n";

C:\> >> "C:\Program Files\Cain\CACHE.LST"

When you open up Cain and go to the Cracker tab you will see the password hashes loaded under MS-Cache Hashes (screen). From there you can conduct a dictionary attack to crack the hashes (screen).

Good luck cracking!

 Posted by at 11:17 am

  6 Responses to “Windows Password Cache”

  1. [...] who attended the presentation.  The tool PWDumpX was demonstrated during the presentation.  A document on how to use the tool to obtain Windows Domain account password hashes has been [...]

  2. [...] Once those files are obtained you can use the command line utilities from the creddump project to produce the same files obtained form PWDumpX (see tuturial). [...]

  3. Can LC4 be used to crack the password hash output from PWdumpX?

  4. R Duff,

    LC4 can be used to run a dictionary attack against Lan Manager hashes obtained by PWDumpX. However, this is not practical anymore with the advent of Rainbowcrack and a Rainbowtable. Also LC4 does not do MS Cache passwords. Cain & Abel does everything LC4 can do and a whole lot more. I will update my post to include a simple perl script to convert PWDumpX Cache dumps to make them suitable for use in Cain.


  5. Good article! I think the only security is encripted file system.

  6. An encrypted file system would not stop the methods described in this article. The tools described are against a system that is online.

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