If i set the same password in both linux and Windows, is it easier for a hacker to break the windows password? If so why and how can i create a windows password in the same security level as Linux?

  • 3
    Ask this in security.stackexchange.com
    – LawrenceC
    Sep 16, 2014 at 14:19
  • you are right. I asked the question in security.stackexchange.com. Do i have to delete it from here? Sep 17, 2014 at 9:12

1 Answer 1


There are two big reasons that Windows passwords are easier to crack. When passwords are stored in the computer they are hashed. Hashing a password adds some obscurity to the password. Windows uses MD4 to hash its passwords (without a salt) where as Linux uses 5000 rounds SHA-512 with a salt (last I checked). Essentially Linux uses a hash that has more possible outputs and added obscurity. If you don't know what hashing and salting is I'd suggest you look here.

As far as I know you cannot change this in Windows. With Linux.... well with Linux you could change it to store your password as cat no matter what.

A very simplistic example of what hashes look like is:

Lets say your password is 12345

Using MD4 windows would store the password as 23580e2a459f7ea40f9efa148b63cafb

With linux it would add a salt and store it as something that look like this (note this is the hash for 12345 done once without a salt)

3627909a29c31381a071ec27f7c9ca97726182aed29a7ddd2e54353322cfb30a bb9e3a6df2ac2c20fe23436311d678564d0c8d305930575f60e2d3d048184d79

  • 2
    Seriously? Windows doesn't salt its hashes?
    – terdon
    Sep 16, 2014 at 14:44
  • This answer would be acceptable if there was less personal opinion in it.
    – Ramhound
    Sep 16, 2014 at 14:50
  • @Ramhound What personal opinion did add to my answer?
    – Griffin
    Sep 16, 2014 at 22:06
  • @Griffin - I suppose its actually your comment I took offense to. You also fail to mention that how Windows attempts to protect said password beyond simply hashing the password. It does not matter Windows does not hash the user password, because no user level process, can access the location the hash is even located in.
    – Ramhound
    Sep 17, 2014 at 1:31
  • @Ramhound The thing is I can grab a flash drive, boot to Linux, and have a program grab and break that hash really really quickly. Windows is attempting to protect the hash from the user. In this case it was my understanding he is trying to protect the hash from the world and in terms of doing that Windows doesn't stack up. Sorry my comment hurt your feelings though
    – Griffin
    Sep 17, 2014 at 3:51

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