Today I’m presenting a SANS workshop on password cracking for OSINT and digital forensics. The workshop will require no previous knowledge and will progress from explaining how things work to how you can effectively crack passwords for file formats such as Office, Zip, RAR and PDF. There are a few topics that I won’t be covering that I expect to get some questions on. That’s the purpose of this blog post. Those topics are salt and rainbow tables. It’s not that these topics aren’t interesting or worth talking about; they’re just not as relevant to password cracking as many people think they are. Let’s explain! When I mention password cracking, many people instantly respond with “rainbow tables!!”. I try to avoid speaking in absolutes so I won’t say rainbow tables are useless, but I will say they aren’t much of a thing anymore. In the workshop, we cover how to acquire password hashes from files and how to crack them. Let’s place that aside for a second and instead talk about a book.