Archive for May, 2010

‘Casual and Secure’ Friday Post

Friday, May 14th, 2010

German law has always been strict about any possible security breaches. This week German court ordered that anyone using wireless networks should protect them with a password so the third party could not download data illegally.  

However, there is no order that users have to change their Wi-Fi passwords regularly, the only requirement being to set up a password on the initial stage of wireless access installation and configuration.

I’ve conducted a mini-research here in Russia. There are 5 wireless networks in range that my computer finds when at home. Although all of the networks have rather bizarre names, they are all WPA- or WPA2-protected. My guess is that people do not install wireless access at home by themselves or browse the Internet for instructions and find some on protection and passwords. At the same time, I often come across unprotected networks in Moscow and I do use them to check my Twitter account. It is obvious that to make any conclusions, one has to dive into this topic much more deeply.

What I learnt working for ElcomSoft – the company that recovers passwords and does it very well – is the following: sometimes a password is not enough. You need a good password to make sure your data is protected. WPA requires using passwords that are at least 8 characters long. Such length guarantees quite good protection. The problem as usual is the human factor. We still use admin123 and the like to protect our networks.

Fortunately, there are tools that can help you check how strong your WPA/WPA2-password is. One of such tools is Wireless Security Auditor. It makes use of various hardware for password recovery acceleration and a set of customizable dictionary attacks. The idea is simple: if this monster does not find your WPA/WPA2-password, then it is secure :)

Nice weekend to all.

ATI is at it. Again.

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

Two months ago I wrote a blog post "ATI and NVIDIA: Making Friends out of Enemies" where (among other things) I wrote:

Developing software for ATI cards is (okay — was) a nightmare. In 2009 ATI quietly introduced two changes in their drivers which made previously perfectly functional and compatible applications to crash (if you are curious: with Catalyst 9.2 or 9.3 they’ve changed names of supporting DLLs bundled with drivers; with Catalyst 9.9 or 9.10 they’ve probably changed format of underlying binary so that anything compiled and linked in with earlier versions caused a driver to crash).

Well, with the release of Catalyst 10.4 drivers ATI is again at it. This time problem only affects users who have display adapters from different vendors in their computer. Applications utilizing ATI Stream will work on such configurations just fine with Catalyst 10.3, but once you upgrade to 10.4, applications will crash with faulting module being aticaldd.dll, a part of ATI Display driver. Kinda embarrassing, I would say. Regression testing is really something one with millions of users should consider.

Users of our software relying on ATI hardware accelerations (as well as any other ATI Stream enabled applications) should not update to 10.4 if ATI Readeon is not the only card in their computer.

Elcomsoft iPhone Password Breaker

Friday, May 7th, 2010

Last week we have released our new product, EPPB, out of beta. We have fixed some bugs, polished GPU acceleration support, added support for Tableau TACC1441 hardware accelerator, making this program the world's first program capable of utilizing computing power of GPUs both from ATI and NVIDIA as well as dedicated hardware accelerators aimed primarily on computer forensics specialists. We have also included ability to run brute-force attacks and not only wordlist-based attacks. Latter were improved with ability to enable/disable individual types of password mutations and set customized level to any of them.

The last, but not the least, we have found that EPPB can handle encrypted backups from Apple's newest tablet, iPad (thanks to Apple for using the same underlying technologies for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad).

Apple iPad

P.S. If anyone's interested, we think that iPad is really cool gadget. It's not a substitute for a laptop, but it's great for catching on emails, surfing web, watching photos or videos or movies and for reading books. And multitouch on 10'' screen is awesome :).

P.P.S. Yes, this blog post was originally created on iPad.

Back from Infosec

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

 

It was the third time we participated in Infosecurity Europe. The whole affair was in jeopardy due to volcanic ash paralyzing all major European airports but we did it. And everything went smoothly as planned.

We presented several latest developments at Infosecurity. First, two of our products, Elcomsoft Wireless Security Auditor and Elcomsoft iPhone Password Breaker, now support Tableau TACC1441.  These hardware accelerators are widely used in digital forensics to recover passwords and gather evidence from encrypted files. They consume considerably less power than GPUs and can be easily plugged and unplugged.

Second, the sales of Elcomsoft iPhone Password Breaker have started. The product is already quite popular and now it is finally out of beta. We expect it to gain even more popularity as it now supports Tableau as well as NVIDIA CUDA and ATI Stream acceleration technologies.

Quite often people ask us why we go to exhibitions and what benefits we see in such events. I’m not going to put any marketing or brand-awareness considerations into this post, although the visibility at major events is always a grand factor. For us as a company, the most important thing is that we can meet our customers in person at such global events as Infosecurity Europe. We get feedback from our customers by e-mail but personal feedback is a thing one could not underestimate.

 I would like to thank everyone who visited ElcomSoft’s stand at Infosecurity for your tips, ideas and feedback on our products. You could also send your suggestions to info at elcomsoft dot com. Tell us what we should improve or what features add.

And see you next year in London at the 16th Infosecurity Europe.

The pics will follow soon.