Feeds

Users still slack about passwords: Trustwave

eHarmony analysis shows people just don’t care

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Trustwave's SpiderLabs has completed an analysis of the passwords dumped on the Internet in this month’s eHarmony breach, and reached the depressing conclusion that too few people really seem to care about password strength.

Having recovered 80 percent of the 1.5 million passwords in the dump file, the company says only 0.5 percent contained a “special character”, with 41 percent containing letters only and 57 percent a combination of letters and digits.

The high popularity of purely alphabetical passwords was, the blog post by Trustwave’s Mike Kelly noted, made worse by the weak protection used by eHarmony. Its password storage was case-insensitive, as well as being in an unsalted MD5 format, reducing the time needed to crack the passwords.

As it was, more than 1.2 million passwords were cracked in 72 hours, using three NVIDIA GPUs and the oclHashcat and John the Ripper cracking tools.

Along with various discussions of the types of base words popular in passwords (dog names outnumber female names, only a small number of passwords included the word “password”, and so on) the analysis found that 89 percent of the recovered passwords were between six and ten characters long.

The post adds a further criticism to eHarmony, noting that its password reset function spits out passwords that are only five characters long, which can be bruteforced “in less than ten seconds” on one GPU.

There is, however, a caveat to the analysis: Threatpost says that since no single password was found more than three times in the 1.2 million recovered passwords, “this brings into question the integrity of the original dump and the possibility of modification by the dumper”. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
You really need to do some tech support for Aunty Agnes
Free anti-virus software, expires, stops updating and p0wns the world
Regin: The super-spyware the security industry has been silent about
NSA fingered as likely source of complex malware family
You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes
Fix issued, fingers pointed, forums in flames
Privacy bods offer GOV SPY VICTIMS a FREE SPYWARE SNIFFER
Looks for gov malware that evades most antivirus
Patch NOW! Microsoft slings emergency bug fix at Windows admins
Vulnerability promotes lusers to domain overlords ... oops
HACKERS can DELETE SURVEILLANCE DVRS remotely – report
Hikvision devices wide open to hacking, claim securobods
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Designing and building an open ITOA architecture
Learn about a new IT data taxonomy defined by the four data sources of IT visibility: wire, machine, agent, and synthetic data sets.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?