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ElcomSoft poster provokes PGP apoplexy

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Infosec A row broke out at the Infosec conference on Tuesday after PGP objected to the content of a poster on password recovery firm ElcomSoft's stand, and lodged an objection with conference organisers Reed Exhibitions.

The offending poster, which said "the only way to break into PGP" (a reference to ElcomSoft's graphic card assisted password recovery tool), was pulled down by Reed on the eve of the show, without notification to ElcomSoft. Olga Koksharova, marketing and sales director at ElcomSoft, complained that Reed's actions were arbitrary and complained that their stand had been "ruined" in the process.

ElcomSoft has blogged about the issue here in a posting that contains pictures from the take-down process.

PGP's stand faces that of ElcomSoft, so the incident made for a little awkwardness between the two neighbours on Tuesday.

In response to inquiries from El Reg, PGP fired back that it had taken the action because the ElcomSoft poster was a pack of lies.

"The sign was factually inaccurate and lies about PGP," said Jon Callas, CTO of PGP. "They're not breaking into PGP, they're doing password cracking. There's a difference. They're not the only people who do it. There are plenty of other password crackers, both commercial and open source."

Koksharova, who denies that the poster disparaged the security of PGP, remains upset. "Everybody knows that PGP is secure," she said. For his part, Callas went on to say Elcomsoft had "a cool product".

Reed Exhibitions said that the ElcomSoft signage was "factually inaccurate" and therefore in violation of exhibitor contracts in particular a clause that states "exhibits must be conducted so as not to cause annoyance or inconvenience to other exhibitors and visitors". Reed added that it had paid for the printing of a replacement panel that repeated uncontroversial statements from other panels on the ElcomSoft stand.

In other thrilling Infosec gossip, Sophos is giving away pair of underpants to people visiting its stand. The Y-fronts are said to have the motto "project your assets" on the back and to be particularly naff.

More on this exciting development later. Meanwhile, on the Symantec stand, a minor fire was put out on Wednesday. It's all go. ®

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