Feeds

Seminal password tool rises from Symantec ashes

L0phtcrack returns

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More than three years after Symantec unceremoniously pulled the plug on L0phtcrack, the seminal tool for auditing and cracking passwords is back with a set of new capabilities.

Starting Wednesday, L0phtcrack 6 is available from the same team of hackers who introduced it to the world a decade ago. The program was pulled from the market in late 2005 shortly after it was acquired by Symantec, presumably because its offensive capabilities didn't fit in with the company's portfolio of defensive products and services.

While programs like John the Ripper and Cain and Abel in many ways filled the void, L0phtcrack is credited with bringing awareness about password strength to the masses.

"It was one of the few tools that you could use to do password cracking that looked legitimate at the time," said HD Moore, founder of the Metasploit project. "It became fairly common for not only the pen testers and the assessment folks to use but also very common for system administrators to use to audit the passwords of their systems."

A lot has changed in the half decade that has passed since L0phtcrack 5 was released, and many of those changes are reflected in the latest version. It adds support for x64 processors and the latest operating system releases from Microsoft, Ubuntu and others. It also brings sharp new teeth to cracking passwords that use the NTLM hash, an algorithm for protecting Windows pass phrases that has come into vogue in the past few years.

According to Moore, we largely have L0phtcrack to thank for the phasing out of a previous Microsoft password hash known as LAN Manager. The algorithm stored hashes in seven-character, case-insensitive chunks that made cracking especially easy.

"It really changed people's views on how they should develop secure passwords," Moore explained. "L0phtcrack is probably the number-one reason why people disabled LANMan hashes and actually picked passwords longer than 14 characters in corporations."

L0phtcrack's reincarnation comes after its creators from the L0pht hacker collective repurchased the program's rights from Symantec. The anti-virus provider had acquired them when it acquired @stake in 2004. @stake took control of the rights a year or so earlier when it merged with L0pht.

With a price starting at $295, it's by no means the cheapest password tool on the market, but L0phtcrack team member Christien Rioux says the features such as scheduling and a dashboard that simplifies the process of disabling users with weak passwords makes the program stand out.

"There are a number of enterprise administrative features that make the product worth it for organizations that are doing this on a regular basis," he said. "It's been a very long time that this has been out there. The benefit is that we've had the opportunity to interact and fix [customer] issues and take [in] their concerns." ®

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Multipath TCP speeds up the internet so much that security breaks
Black Hat research says proposed protocol will bork network probes, flummox firewalls
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
Microsoft's Euro cloud darkens: US FEDS can dig into foreign servers
They're not emails, they're business records, says court
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?