I remember typing in a long phrase for the password. I wrote all the words I could have possibly used into a plain text file, combining the words I know were used in a certain order. I might have repeated a word or two. I think it is not more than 30 words. the passphrase consists of only lowercase english words.

Things I tried

  • compiling John the Ripper (Bleeding Jumbo) and tried running it: gpg2jack gives me errors. Reading the documentation I do not think it works for symmetric GPG files. I may be wrong on this. It is possible I don't understand how to use it.
  • I looked at Rephrase but realized it only recovers passwords for GPG keys, not GPG encrypted files but I thought that would basically be the same? I don't know why it does not work, can't find options to specify the file I want to brute force.

I am looking for a utility or script that I can use to set my computer up and walk away while it attempts to brute-force the passphrase. The only requirement is that it can run on my Gentoo or Ubuntu systems.

At the moment, I don't care what it requires for me to install non-free or free, as long as it works. I considered installing Kali on another drive but I am unfamiliar with it and maybe someone knows a tool it has or something else that might help me.


Rephrase 0.2-3 from Debian should be able to work now.

The docs in Debian are not up to date. Read this for usage instead: https://roguedaemon.net/rephrase/README.html.

Debian added patches in 2017 (0.2-3) to fix compatibility with gpg2, which is lacking in the original 0.2 version. See https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=853935 for relevant details. As far as I see the patches used don't touch the --luks option, but you should be able to fix that if needed.

I have been able to recover a passphrase to a symmetrically encrypted file, but its very slow.

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