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Re: Ncrack command-line reloaded
From: Toni Ruottu <toni.ruottu () gmail com>
Date: Thu, 28 May 2009 02:27:15 +0300

The current scheme was decided over others given the flexibility it
over specifying host-specific options.

That is a good feature.

Ncrack also supports Nmap notation in
that you can supply just an address and a port/service (-p option) and will
automatically adapt to cracking these services using default parameters.
e.g $ ncrack -p ssh

This is good also.

The current scheme is url-like (it is *not* a try to copy the url notation)
the only thing it actually imitates is the delimiter between host and
(being '://'). Imagine that this could possibly be another delimiter like
:/ or
just : (though this would collide with the optional non-default port
specification - e.g  ssh://

Yep. The problem is it looks exactly like one.

Anyone that won't bother reading the documentation/man page at all, will
probably just input a plain IP address or hostname and a port using -p.
else who will probably be more demanding (as in wanting to specify certain
timing options e.g connection limit) will not have trouble understanding
url-like scheme by reading the relevant documentation.

You are making a very strong assumption that people actually read the
documentation trough fully. In reality this is very rare. People usually
learn by seeing some one using the software or scanning trough how-tos and
usage example without reading the actual prose.

Web logins are probably the most common type of login these days and the
notations implies that ncrack would be able to hack them, yet I have
understood that it is not a heuristic that crawls the page for potential
authentication web forms to try different passwords at, but rather
that tries to crack the http authentication. Some day the feature for
cracking web forms might still be implemented. The first version might
require the user to provide an actual url and mark the locations of wild
cards (i.e. user account and/or password) in that url.

Web logins may be the most common type of logins but that doesn't mean that
ncrack will be tailored according to the needs of http only. It will need
support many different kinds of protocols (we hope to even surpass
thc-hydra in
that regard someday) and the url-like scheme combined with the rest of the
command-line interface provides a generic way to accomplish that.

You can use very generic url-whatever later, even if you do not have
anything that looks like a url in the first release.

Regarding mere layout, the description for the url implies : is
which I don't think is intentional. Also, usually url parameters are
separated by & and not ,. Originally urls were used for identifying
"locations". As years has passed the meaning of a location has blurred a
lot. I'm not sure password cracking results are a good result for probing
location, but I do realize some people want to use urls for all kinds of
different purposes, and I guess in some cases that might be ok. In such a
case considering URNs and URIs as alternatives for URLs might be a good

Using a '&' automatically means that the user will need to escape it (in
shell afaik), a thing that we want to avoid.

Oh, I see. I guess avoiding & is a good idea then, as long as the url is
nmap specific.

For these reasons I suggest that, if you decide to go with a url, create a
new proper ncrack url scheme.
Maybe something like

respect of your current ideas.

This seems a bit too bloated using the keyword 'protocol' as a separate
for specifying the current service.

Taking into account your feed back I'd go with something like ncrack://

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