Cmd line with mask is shortened at execution
Hi all,

while cracking around with a md5 hash list with 172M entries (145M found) I wanted to dive deeper and found that there are many bot entries as passwords which always have a structure like this:

- prefix (optional), chain_of_ascii_chars, suffix (optional)

For example (no real entry):

stello123 (=prefix) xCg532%@%gdvf^5DGaa6&*rFTfg^FD4$OIFThrR_gH(ugf*/ (chain_of_ascii_chars)

So I created the following cmdline in a Win11 terminal (Ryzen 9 5950X 16-Core, GTX 1080Ti, 32G RAM):

"hashcat -m 0 -a 3 -o HB_bots.txt Hash_BenchXVI.hash ?l?l?l?l?l?d?d?dxCg532%@%gdvf^5DGaa6&*rFTfg^FD4$OIFThrR_gH(ugf*/ -O -w 3"

Hashcat starts but in the status you can see first the guess mask with:

?l?l?l?l?l?d?d?dxCg532%@%gdvf5DGaa6 [27]

and the following candidates like:


If you hit Ctrl-C or hashcat comes to the end the following line appears:

(translated from german to english):

The command "*rFTfgFD4$OIFThrR_gH" is either wrong typed or could not be found.

It seems, that the ampersand char (&) causes some kind of "escaping" so the whole string isn't available to hashcat.

Any kind of quotes didn't help so far. Any suggestions?

Best regards, Konubixe
Using special chars like * % / \ & directly on the commandline will mostly result in such behavior as these chars have special meanings on the commandline, in your case the & is for combining two commands and this results in your output

for masks with special chars use a maskfile instead or you have to escape all special chars, maybe its enough to simple enclose them by singel or double quotes but i wont go for that, i would prefer the maskfile approach, see wiki for that
Yes, that's it. Is running now.

Didn't realize that the "&" reached the windows command line already in the 2000's...

Thanks Snoopy

Best regards