Checkers and Splitters - Pipal Goes Modular

Fri 14th June 13

This is a short doc to explain how the new modular checker and splitter system works. It isn't finished yet so may well still change so I'll try to keep this guide up-to-date.

You can get the new code from the modular branch on the GitHub repo.

Please get in touch if you have any questions, suggestions or general comments about this new modular approach.


Checkers are the most important part of Pipal, they take the passwords and perform the analysis on them. Originally they were all built into the main script so were hard to maintain and it was even harder to add new ones so I broke them out into their own modules called Checkers.

They are set up in the same style as Apache handles vhosts in some Linux distributions, there is a checkers_available directory and a checkers_enabled directory. To enable a checker simply symlink it into the enabled directory and it will be used by the system. This will allow users who don't care about, say Hashcat masks, to not have to spend processor cycles generating them. On a small list this probably won't make much difference but it will on a large one.

The other good thing about the way Checkers now work is that it is easy to write new ones. To see how simple a Checker can be take a look at the windows_complexity_checker.rb file in checkers_available. 25 lines get you a checker for default Windows complexity, to change this to cover your own rules simply clone the file, update the regex, the name and a few bits of copy and then symlink it into place.

If you want to check for a list of items then this is even easier, check out colour_checker.rb, it is just 15 lines long. Give it a name, the list and a description and the rest is taken care of for you.

The --list-checkers parameter will show you a list of all Checkers which are available along with a brief description. I'd like to extend this so each Checker will also contain a more detailed description which can also be requested.


What about if you want to process a file that doesn't just contain passwords, maybe it has usernames in it as well. The default action is to treat each new line in the file as a password but with a custom Splitter you can now define what is the password and what is extra data. You can then write a custom Checker which can understand the extra data and off you go. Any existing Checkers which don't care about extra data will just ignore it but your custom one will be able to handle it.

As an example of this I've created a Splitter called pipe_pass_user.rb, as it sounds, this is a pipe (|) separated file with the password first followed by the username. The code again is fairly simple, a class with a static method called split, that takes the line from the file and splits it down to the password and the username. The password is returned on its own with the username going in an associative array. The Checker username.rb is the only one which currently understands how to handle the username field in the extras array and it will take it and do various comparisons between the username and the password. The rest of the checkers will simply ignore the extra data and work as normal.

Only a single splitter can be used at once. To do this symlink the Splitter you want to use to a file called custom_splitter.rb in the main Pipal directory. It will then be picked up automatically.

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