# Recovering a Truecrypt password using preset word combinations?

A few months ago I created a Truecrypt volume, with a password I created using words from a cover of a book that I stringed together randomly. The words were typed out side by side with no spaces. This was a while ago, and now I cannot remember the order of the words, or how long the password was. However, I know that the password is made up out of 20 possible words (on the book cover).

Is there a program where I can input these 20 words that will try all possible combinations and get me back my password? I'm using Windows 7.

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You do understand your talking about millions of combinations right? There are applications that can do this, they are used to brute force passwords, there are lots of options. Its actually more then millions if I remember how to calculate the number of possible choices from 20 words. – Ramhound Dec 19 '12 at 15:01
Found this from a SO question. A PHP script that prints out all possible permutations for a given set of values. Still no solution, of course, but it might help you get there. – pleinolijf Dec 19 '12 at 15:14
2432902008176640000 possebilties ... – bummi Dec 19 '12 at 15:16
At 200 billion attempts per second, a brute-force attempt could take slightly over nine years, with an average of 4-6 years. (And that's not really possible for an online attack, which is what I think you're proposing.) You're better off trying to remember the position of 5-7 words, which would reduce the search space to mere billions as opposed to the quintillions it is now. – Jonathan Garber Dec 19 '12 at 15:33
@bummi: And that’s just the number of permutations of all 20. If I remember my math correctly, there are another 2432902008176640000 groups of 19 of them (a one-to-one correspondence), 1216451004088320000 combinations of 18, 405483668029440000 combinations of 17, etc… These numbers are in the quintillion range. And that is assuming no repetitions (e.g., “windwithwindgone”) and that Jack remembers whether the words were capitalized. – Scott Dec 19 '12 at 16:06

Found this on the interwebs: How to recover forgotten Truecrypt passwords.

Warning: I have never used the linked software in the article, haven't even clicked on the link (at work atm), so proceed with caution.

As an alternative, you should be able to set something similar up with a AutoHotKey script that tries each entry in a list, but it will be slow as hell, obviously.

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It actually should not be that hard now that there will be GPU accelerated solution to crack truecrypt. Even with CPU, it should be doable since the keyspace will be relatively small. From what I understand, you took 2 to 6 words from 20 that are on the book cover and concatenate them together. I would first generate the all the combination to create a wordlist and then use it either with JTR or hashcat.

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You can't recover a Truecrypt password. You may hack it using a brute force attack. But if we assume the users password is strong enough, that could take decades on a normal PC.

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The fact that the user knows every single word in the passphrase (just not the order) will help tremendously. In any other case, you're right of course. – pleinolijf Dec 19 '12 at 15:36