Editor’s note: I’ve updated the article with some new (and in some cases) clarifying detail from Jeremi. I’ve left changes in where they were made. The biggest changes: 1) an updated link to slides 2) clarifying that VCL refers to Virtual OpenCL and 3) that the quote regarding 14char passwords falling in 6 minutes was for LM encrypted – not NTLM encrypted passwords. Long (8 char) NTLM passwords would take much longer…around 5.5 hours. 😉 – Paul There needs to be some kind of Moore’s law analog to capture the tremendous advances in the speed of password cracking operations. Just within the last five years, there’s been an explosion in innovation in this ancient art, as researchers have realized that they can harness specialized silicon and cloud based computing pools to quickly and efficiently break passwords. A presentation at the Passwords^12 Conference in Oslo, Norway (slides available here – PDF), has […]
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A system that monitors traffic patterns by pinging Bluetooth devices carried within passing automobiles is vulnerable to man in the middle attacks that could allow a remote attacker to steal data or remotely control or disable systems used to monitor freeways across the U.S., according to an alert from the Department of Homeland Security’s Industrial Control System Computer Emergency Readiness Team (ICS-CERT). ICS-CERT issued an advisory on Friday for customers who use Bluetooth-based traffic systems from the firm Post Oak Traffic Systems. Post Oak’s AWAM Bluetooth Reader Traffic Systems do not properly generate authentication keys used to secure communications. That could allow an attacker to calculate the private key used by the AWAM reader, then use those to impersonate the device, siphoning off administrative credentials that would give them direct access to the traffic monitoring system, DHS warned. Post Oak’s Anonymous Wireless Address Matching (AWAM) devices are installed at the […]
A currency trading web site was compromised and used to serve malicious java applications to unwitting visitors, according to researchers at the security firm Websense- part of what might be a larger trend. Websense said in a blog post on Wednesday that the site tradingforex.com, which is used by foreign currency traders, was infected with a malicious Java applet that, when installed, key logging and screen capture software. Tradingforex.com (@Tradingforexxx) is a Cyprus-based online trading web site. It allows individuals to trade on the global foreign exchange market (or Forex). Users can trade everything from foreign currencies to precious metals, commodities and other financial instruments. According to an investigation by Websense researcher Gianluca Giuliani, the site was pushing a back door program to visitors using a malicious Java plugin to exploit known Java vulnerabilities on the victims’ computers. Further investigation by Websense and Giuliani revealed that the malware being pushed […]
Medical fraud is a huge issue in the U.S. Depending on whose numbers you use, fraud stemming from false medical claims and reimbursements range from $65 billion a year (a figure generated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Studies) to more than ten times that: $750 billion a year (according to the Institute for Medicine). To stem the losses, government and law enforcement have been cracking down on fraud. In October, for example, the U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced charges against 91 individuals believed to be behind a huge, interstate Medicare fraud scheme responsible for some $430 million in false billing charges. Increasingly, though, the U.S. government is turning to technology to help it identify and root out fraud within the system for medical reimbursements. Chief among the ideas under consideration is a beefed up system for identifying health consumers […]
There appears to be some professional differences of opinion about the latest super malware targeting the nation of Iran. Just days after Symantec Corp. warned about a new piece of malware, W32.Narilam, researchers at the Russian anti-virus firm Kaspersky Lab threw cold water on the report, saying their analysis suggests that Narilam is two to three years old and probably targeted financial software packages, rather than high value government or industrial systems. The back and forth started with Symantec’s Nov. 22nd blog post on Narilam, which claimed the malware had recently been found circulating in the “Middle East” – and particularly in Iran. Narilam was programmed to infect systems running Microsoft’s SQL database software, spreading through removable drives and network shared folders. It was designed to corrupt data, not to steal information, Symantec said. Though the Cupertino company made no attestation as to Narilam’s origins, Symantec did say the worm […]