Online Password Bruteforce with Hydra-GTK

Hydra(better known as “thc-hydra”) is an online password attack tool. It brute forces various combinations on live services like telnet, ssh, http, https, smb, snmp, smtp etc. Hydra supports 30+ protocols including their SSL enabled ones. It brute forces on services we specify by using user-lists & wordlists. Hydra works in 4 modes:

  • One username & one password
  • User-list & One password
  • One username & Password list
  • User-list & Password list

Pentesters use this tool to test/audit the password complexity of live services mostly where direct sniffing is not possible. We discuss th gui of the tool in the following tutorial. In future the command line mode will be discussed.

Hydra Homepage :


You can open xHydra from the Kali linux menu or terminal.

Target Settings

Target- Settings of various target oprions

Passwords – Specify password options & wordlists

Tuning – Secify how fast should hydra work. Other timing options are also available.

Specific – For testing on specific targets like a domain, https proxy etc.

Start – Start/Stop & shows the output.

Lab 1 :Breaking an ssh with wordlist attack

In this lab we try to break an ssh authentication on a remote has who has IP address Here we do a wordlist attack by using a wordlist containing most common passwords to break into the root account.

Step 1: Open Hydra

Step 2: Set Target & protocol in the target tab.<here><use your target>

Setting the Target

Step 3: Set the username as root & specify the location for a wordlist in passwords tab.

Note: Kali linux comes with built in wordlists. Search them using command: locate *.lst in terminal.

command: locate *.lst

Other wide range of wordlist ranging upto 3GB or more are available in the internet. Just goole for 5 minutes.

Setting Password Options

Step 4: Set no of tasks to 1 in tuning tab scince this will reduce congestion & chance of detection. But takes longer to complete. This is also necessary to mitigate account lockout duration.

Tuning Options

Step 5: Start the hydra from Start tab.

Starting the Attack

Step 6: Scrooll Down & Wait until the password gets cracked

Password Loggged in UI of Hydra