Windows passwords broken in seconds

Wednesday, 23 July 2003, 11:35 AM EST

Swiss researchers released a paper on Tuesday outlining a way to speed the cracking of alphanumeric Windows passwords, reducing the time to break such codes to an average of 13.6 seconds from 1 minute 41 seconds.

The method involves using large lookup tables to match encoded passwords to the original text entered by a user, thus speeding the calculations required to break the codes. Called a time-memory trade-off, the situation means that an attacker with an abundance of computer memory can reduce the time it takes to break a secret code.

The results highlight a fact about which many security researchers have worried: Microsoft's manner for encoding passwords has certain weaknesses that make such techniques particularly effective, Philippe Oechslin, a senior research assistant and lecturer at the Cryptography and Security Laboratory of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL), wrote in an email to CNET News.com.

[ Read more ]




Spotlight

How security pros deal with cybercrime extortion

1 in 3 security professionals recommend negotiating with cybercriminals for the return of stolen data or the restoration of encrypted files. 86% of security professionals believed their peers at other organizations have brokered deals with cybercriminals.


Weekly newsletter

Reading our newsletter every Monday will keep you up-to-date with security news.
  



Daily digest

Receive a daily digest of the latest security news.
  
DON'T
MISS

Wed, Apr 1st
    COPYRIGHT 1998-2015 BY HELP NET SECURITY.   // READ OUR PRIVACY POLICY // ABOUT US // ADVERTISE //