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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Using Google as a password cracker

Slashdot It! One of the steps used by the attacker who compromised Light Blue Touchpaper a few weeks ago was to create an account (which he promoted to administrator; more on that in a future post). I quickly disabled the account, but while doing forensics, I thought it would be interesting to find out the account password. Wordpress stores raw MD5 hashes in the user database (despite my recommendation to use salting). As with any respectable hash function, it is believed to be computationally infeasible to discover the input of MD5 from an output. Instead, someone would have to try out all possible inputs until the correct output is discovered. So, I wrote a trivial Python script which hashed all dictionary words, but that didn’t find the target (I also tried adding numbers to the end). Then, I switched to a Russian dictionary (because the comments in the shell code installed were in Russian) but that didn’t work either. I could have found or written a better password cracker, which varies the case of letters, and does common substitutions (e.g. o → 0, a → 4) but that would have taken more time than I wanted to spend. I could also improve efficiency with a rainbow table, but this needs a large database which I didn’t have. Via Light Blue Torch Protect your computer with Windows Onecare Get Paid $7.50 for reviewing my post Ad Space

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