passlib.hash.msdcc2 - Windows’ Domain Cached Credentials v2

New in version 1.6.

This class implements the DCC2 (Domain Cached Credentials version 2) hash, used by Windows Vista and newer to cache and verify remote credentials when the relevant server is unavailable. It is known by a number of other names, including “mscache2” and “mscash2” (Microsoft CAched haSH). It replaces the weaker msdcc v1 hash used by previous releases of Windows. Security wise it is not particularly weak, but due to its use of the username as a salt, it should probably not be used for anything but verifying existing cached credentials. This class can be used directly as follows:

>>> from passlib.hash import msdcc2

>>> # encrypt password using specified username
>>> hash = msdcc2.hash("password", user="Administrator")
>>> hash

>>> # verify correct password
>>> msdcc2.verify("password", hash, user="Administrator")
>>> # verify correct password w/ wrong username
>>> msdcc2.verify("password", hash, user="User")
>>> # verify incorrect password
>>> msdcc2.verify("letmein", hash, user="Administrator")

See also


class passlib.hash.msdcc2

This class implements version 2 of Microsoft’s Domain Cached Credentials password hash, and follows the PasswordHash API.

It has a fixed number of rounds, and uses the associated username as the salt.

The hash(), genhash(), and verify() methods have the following extra keyword:

Parameters:user (str) –

String containing name of user account this password is associated with. This is required to properly calculate the hash.

This keyword is case-insensitive, and should contain just the username (e.g. Administrator, not SOMEDOMAIN\Administrator).

Format & Algorithm

Much like lmhash, nthash, and msdcc, MS DCC v2 hashes consists of a 16 byte digest, usually encoded as 32 hexadecimal characters. An example hash (of "password" with the account "Administrator") is 4c253e4b65c007a8cd683ea57bc43c76.

The digest is calculated as follows:

  1. The password is encoded using UTF-16-LE.
  2. The MD4 digest of step 1 is calculated. (The result of this is identical to the nthash digest of the password).
  3. The unicode username is converted to lowercase, and encoded using UTF-16-LE. This should be just the plain username (e.g. User not SOMEDOMAIN\\User)
  4. The username from step 3 is appended to the digest from step 2; and the MD4 digest of the result is calculated (The result of this is identical to the msdcc digest).
  5. PBKDF2-HMAC-SHA1 is then invoked, using the result of step 4 as the secret, the username from step 3 as the salt, 10240 rounds, and resulting in a 16 byte digest.
  6. The result of step 5 is encoded into hexadecimal; this is the DCC2 hash.

Security Issues

This hash is essentially msdcc v1 with a fixed-round PBKDF2 function wrapped around it. The number of rounds of PBKDF2 is currently sufficient to make this a semi-reasonable way to store passwords, but the use of the lowercase username as a salt, and the fact that the rounds can’t be increased, means this hash is not particularly future-proof, and should not be used for new applications.


  • Max Password Size

    Windows appears to enforce a maximum password size, but the actual value of this limit is unclear; sources report it to be set at assorted values from 26 to 128 characters, and it may in fact vary between Windows releases. The one consistent piece of information is that passwords above the limit are simply not allowed (rather than truncated ala des_crypt). Because of this, Passlib does not currently enforce a size limit: any hashes this class generates should be correct, provided Windows is willing to accept a password of that size.


[1]Description of DCC v2 algorithm -