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  (Source: icanhascheezburger)
Facebook, Gmail, and Twitter pages defaced as mob mentality rules

Today everyone's favorite (or least favorite, perhaps) cyberbanditsLulzSec, leaked 62,000 peoples' email addresses and passwords.

The listing, which can be found here in text file form, has lots of different users and passwords.  A few notes -- the passwords appear to be all 15 or less characters and don't include capital letters (the last entry seems a fluke).  

This could simply be a coincidence that speaks to peoples' password tendencies these days, or it could be a sign that LulzSec used brute force attacks to crack these passwords.  

Using an SSD-driven rainbow tables approach, a 14-character hashed password can be cracked in about 5 seconds; cracking 62,000 passwords would take approximately three and a half days, at most (probably less if you exclude capitals).  Of course that's for Windows passwords, which use MD4 hashing.  More secure sites likely use MD5 and SHA1, in addition to salting, and a high iteration account -- of course there's plenty of sites that are probably using MD4 with no salting or -- as the Sony hacks showed -- storing passwords as cleartext in web accessible databases.

Many users whose email addresses were hacked subsequently had their Twitter or Facebook accounts illegitimately accessed and defaced [source].  It appears that the internet equivalent of a mob is behind these attacks -- thousands of individuals have downloaded the file containing the passwords and begun to try to access peoples' accounts.

The Next Web has been promoting a tool to find if you've been hacked, stating, "We've promised we won't say who built it, but can absolutely 100% assure it wasn't LulzSec and there's no email harvesting going on."

That said, the widget -- originally hosted here -- is the work of an unknown developer, so entrusting it with your emails might not be wise.

As always you can maintain safety online by:

  1. Using one-time use accounts for your various online registrations (to avoid one account being compromised allowing others to be compromised).
  2. Use passphrases with numbers, capital letters, and preferably ASCII symbols.
  3. Make sure your passwords are over 20 characters long.
  4. Don't reuse passwords.
  5. Don't share passwords with anyone.
While the above may seem difficult, it will allow you to remain safe from cybercrime online, for the most part.


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RE: Password recommendations
By MIKEPM9 on 6/17/2011 5:08:13 AM , Rating: 2
I just created an account with DailyTech just so I could comment on this. The answer to your problem is LastPass,

I used LastPass to create a password for this account that is unique to this account only, over 20 characters long, using alpha-numeric, upper & lower case, numbers and special characters! It's a PW that I will never remember, nor do I have to because LastPass remembers it for me. The only PW that you need to remember is the one to access LastPass.

I used to be like a lot of other users out there, ONE Username and ONE Password for EVERYTHING!
But now with so many sites being hacked, if they have your one U/N and PW, BANG BABY, they can into all of your other accounts!!! Don't delay, LastPass, it's FREE.

p.s. Use MultiFactor Authentication!

RE: Password recommendations
By banvetor on 6/17/2011 5:55:32 AM , Rating: 2
Unless, of course, they hack LastPass...

RE: Password recommendations
By dagamer34 on 6/17/2011 8:54:47 AM , Rating: 2
Which is why instead I use 1Password. Data is never stored on 1Password's website, just on your computers, but you can sync it via Dropbox. It's also encrypted with your master password, so it doesn't do them much good to steal your encrypted data (unless you've got governments on your back, I suppose).

I think it's a far better solution than something that just lives only in the cloud.

RE: Password recommendations
By aegisofrime on 6/17/2011 9:48:28 AM , Rating: 2
The way I do it is that I arrange my online accounts into tiers. My email and bank account are the highest priority, so they get unique difficult passwords. Throwaway sites and less important accouts get easier and repeated usage of passwords.

RE: Password recommendations
By mike8675309 on 6/17/2011 9:55:21 AM , Rating: 2
meh, let them hack LastPass. What would they get, a bunch of hashed tokens of zero value without the key?
Best hackers could hope for is some sort of man in the middle, but then all they get from the users is SHA-256 hashed tokens that don't unlock anything. Data sent back and forth from lastpass to the client is all AES-256 encrypted data that is decrypted and encrypted at the client side.

Could someone find a way to do it. Sure. Is it likely with todays tech? nope.

"This is from the It's a science website." -- Rush Limbaugh

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