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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 SunTzu on 6/17/2011 6:03:52 AM , Rating: 2
No, it doesnt. They use rainbow tables to crack the encryption, they dont try to brute force the logins.

RE: Password recommendations
By Gamingphreek on 6/17/2011 7:41:31 AM , Rating: 3
Rainbow Tables are brute force. Instead of trying passwords and computing the hash, rainbow tables are a series of hashes. It eliminates turning Clear Text into Cypher Text for a speed up.

RE: Password recommendations
By nafhan on 6/17/2011 9:54:22 AM , Rating: 3
Brute force means they try every possible password (or a subset thereof). Rainbow tables are just a method of speeding up brute force attacks by pre-computing passwords and placing them in storage (i.e. trading CPU time for storage space).

RE: Password recommendations
By JasonMick (blog) on 6/17/2011 10:48:38 AM , Rating: 2
Brute force means they try every possible password (or a subset thereof). Rainbow tables are just a method of speeding up brute force attacks by pre-computing passwords and placing them in storage (i.e. trading CPU time for storage space).

True... I think the commenter was referring to the fact that hackers try to dump databases of usernames/passwords and then use brute force to reverse the encryption on the DUMPED contents, rather than to try to brute force (unencrypted) passwords via login attempts to an online interface (which would be ridiculously bandwidth limited)...

Technically their statement is correct, though the word was a bit confusing.

RE: Password recommendations
By SunTzu on 6/17/2011 4:32:18 PM , Rating: 2
That was precisely my point. The biggest problem isnt usually bandwidth, its that any system designed by someone who's not a 5 year old will limit the number of attempts over x time, which makes it unfeasible.

RE: Password recommendations
By SandmanWN on 6/17/2011 11:39:21 PM , Rating: 2
on the flipside, now they don't even have to try to break your account. a few bad entries and the bank system will suspend your account. one tiny script and the next day you and 10,000 of your fellow bankers will shut the bank down for them as you call-in an drop by en mass to figure out what why your account isn't working.

"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates

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