Posts Tagged ‘password cracking’

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About iTunes and iCloud Backups But Were Afraid to Ask

Monday, March 31st, 2014

Do you think you know everything about creating and using backups of Apple iOS devices? Probably not. Our colleague and friend Vladimir Bezmaly (MVP Consumer security, Microsoft Security Trusted Advisor) shares some thoughts, tips and tricks on iTunes and iCloud backups.

iPhone Backups

Mobile phones are everywhere. They are getting increasingly more complex and increasingly more powerful, producing, consuming and storing more information than ever. Today’s smart mobile devices are much more than just phones intended to make and receive calls. Let’s take Apple iPhone. The iPhone handles our mail, plans our appointments, connects us to other people via social networks, takes and shares pictures, and serves as a gaming console, eBook reader, barcode scanner, Web browser, flashlight, pedometer and whatnot. As a result, your typical iPhone handles tons of essential information, keeping the data somewhere in the device. But what if something happens to the iPhone? Or what if nothing happens, but you simply want a newer-and-better model? Restoring the data from a backup would be the simplest way of initializing a new device. But wait… what backup?

Users in general are reluctant to make any sort of backup. They could make a backup copy once after reading an article urging them to back up their data… but that would be it. Apple knows its users, and decided to explore the path yet unbeaten, making backups completely automatic and requiring no user intervention. Two options are available: local backups via iTunes and cloud backups via Apple iCloud.

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Smartphone Forensics: Cracking BlackBerry Backup Passwords

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

BlackBerry dominates the North American smartphone market, enjoying almost 40 per cent market share. A 20 per cent worldwide market share isn’t exactly a bad thing, too. The total subscriber base for the BlackBerry platform is more than 50 million users.

Today, we are proud to present world’s first tool to facilitate forensic analysis of BlackBerry devices by enabling access to protected data stored on users’ BlackBerries.

One of the reasons of BlackBerry high popularity is its ultimate security. It was the only commercial mobile communication device that was ever allowed to a US president: Barack Obama has won the privilege to keep his prized BlackBerry despite resistance from NSA. (On a similar note, Russian president Dmitry Medvedev was handed an iPhone 4 a day before its official release by no one but Steve Jobs himself. No worries, we crack those, too).

 

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Why you should crack your passwords

Friday, February 19th, 2010

Computer security audit

Your organization probably has a written password policy. Accordingly you also have different technical implementations of that policy across your various systems. Most of the implementations does not match the exact requirements or guidelines given in the written policy, because they cannot be technically implemented.

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AMD vs NVIDIA, next round

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

Looking for new password cracking hardware (to take advantage of GPU acceleration)? Wait just a little bit more: new ATI and NVIDIA cards (with DirectX 11) will be available soon.

ATI is going to release Radeon HD 5000 cards (5850, 5870, 5870 X2) in October — well, hopefully. The top one (HD 5870X2: single-PCB, dual-GPU) will retail for $599.

As for NVIDIA’s new GT300, the specifications were revealed in April. In brief, it groups processing cores in sets of 32 (up from 24 in GT200) — up to 512 cores total for the high-end part. If the clocks remain the same as on GT200, that will double the overall performance. And there are other improvements as well: e.g. GT300 cores rely on MIMD-similar functions. Some fresh information about GT300 availability:

You may ask — what about Intel? Well, new Core i5 and i7 (codename Lynnfield) now available. Nothing revolutionary new, just Intel P55 Express Chipset support: integrating both a 16-lane PCI Express 2 graphics port and two-channel memory controller on a single chip (previous chipsets required separate northbridge and southbridge), as well as several minor improvements. More information and some benchmarks at Intel Lynnfield; Core i5 750 and Core i7 870 Evaluation and New Intel Core i5, i7 Processors Product Matrix.

And still [almost] noting about Intel Larrabee, mostly just rumors:

Finally, funny article: NVIDIA to Intel: Your Days Are Numbered :)
 

CUDA-enabled applications

Monday, May 18th, 2009

Tom’s Hardware has tested two mainstream NVIDIA cards (GeForce 9600 GT and GeForce 9800 GTX) on several CUDA-enabled applications. The applications were:

  • SETI@home
  • CyberLink PowerDirector
  • Tsunami MPEG Encoder
  • Super LoiLoScope
  • Badaboom

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What does “The only way to break into PGP” mean?

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

Note to PGP legal dept: I’m not going to put the ® sign every time when I mention PGP. I’m just tired; we already did that in our press release and on our web site, and I think it’s enough. No, really? Well, I’ll repeat one more time: all names like PGP are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners in the UK, USA, Russia and probably somewhere else  e.g. in Albania. There are too many countries to mention, sorry :). Why should I care about (R)? Keep reading, and you’ll see the reason.

Note to PGP executive and marketing depts: thanks again for helping our marketing people to spread a word about company and our software. We have received many calls from local and international media, a nice press coverage, and a lot of people coming to our booth at InfoSecurity. Well, and several good orders  mostly from forensic/investigation people.

Now an update to my previous post. It becomes more and more funny: PGP has wrote about our ‘conflict’ in their own blog. And the author is… Jon Callas, CTO of PGP. He called his blog entry Lies, Damned Lies, and Marketing – not bad, eh? But the contents is even better. Jon starts with the words about ElcomSoft: "The company who made this has a great product, and as I said then, it’s a very cool product." Thanks Jon, but we already knew that our software is "great" and "cool" – otherwise we would not get enough sales ;). But Jon’s story continues with the following:

[ElcomSoft] booth said, “the only way to break into PGP®.” This is a lie, and a lie in two directions.

1.They’re not breaking into PGP, they’re doing password cracking. There’s a difference.
2.They’re not the only people who do it. As I’ve said before there are plenty of other password crackers, both commercial and open source.
In short, the sign was factually incorrect, and lies about PGP.

If we lie, please sue us. If we don’t, better be quiet, please. But PGP marketing people have selected the 3rd way: complained to Reed Exhibitions and asked to destroy [a part of] our booth. Well done.

About [1]: from my personal point of view, "breaking into PGP" can mean "password cracking" as well. Do we provide the tool to get access to password-protected PGP disk? Obviously we do. Did we say that it works in 100% cases, or that we cracked PGP encryption/algorithms? No we did not. Oh well, our English is definitely not perfect, but I think it is still better than your Russian, Jon ;)

About [2]: yes, there is a lot of password crackers around. But I’m aware of just a single one (except ours, of course) for PGP Disk – and it is commercial; supports old versions of PGP Disk only; moreover, it is distributed only as a part of very expensive commerial e-discovery package – and it is MUCH slower than ours (because it does not use GPU acceleration). Sorry, I will not mention the vendor name here, simply because it is our competitor – and it did not pay us for an advertisement :). Jon, I’d appreciate if you can name the other ones (commercial or open-source). If you cannot, YOU lie. But I like your wording "as I’ve said before"; I think I should used it myself, too (e.g. "as I’ve said before, PGP is not secure and can be cracked" – without reference, for sure :)).

I recall how I talked to PGP representative a year ago – on previous InfoSecurity UK. The first question he asked was: "Have you received an e-mail from our legal department?". I replied "Should I?"; he said "Yes", and explained the reason: there was no (R) sign (near "PGP") in our press release (Elcomsoft Distributed Password Recovery Unlocks PGP Protection). Well, see the note at the beginning of this post ;)

Another note: in fact, we were strictly prohibited (by Reed, but that’s definitely not their own initiative, but for sure PGP’s one) from printing anything about PGP on our booth. It’s a pity that I did not have a voice recorder handy. So if we wrote something like The only way to break PGP passwords, or The most cost-effective way to crack PGP passwords etc, such panel will be removed as well. We’ll probably try this next year. But we reserved the other place for InfoSecurity 2010 – not so close to PGP; I think it is a good idea anyway, because every half an hour they’re doing very loud (but not very smart) presentations telling people that PGP is #1 in this and that (nothing really interesting/technical/innovative).

Oh, I forgot to mention that we received a document from Reed explaining why they’ve removed our wall paper, finally – at the end of the first day, i.e. about 8 hours after removal. The official Regulations (sorry, I’m too lazy to scan it – but I will, if you wish) say that it should be done in advance (and no action can be made without prior notice in writing), but who cares? Anyway, for those who interested – here is how it looks like:

But I should also mention that Reed keeps their word: our panel has been replaced this morning (at their own cost). Have a look (the second panel from the right; the color is slightly different from the original one, but still better than nothing):

 

Lessons learned? You guess yourself. I would not say anything bad about PGP and/or Reed – they really helped us a lot. And I would NOT recommend PGP to send smarter people to the exhibition next year – so we’ll be able to save a significant part of our marketing budget ;)

After all… All of the above (as well as my other posts) is my personal view, and not an official position of ElcomSoft. Yeah, I’m the CEO of ElcomSoft, and I’m the person who approved the design of our booth (btw, only two days before the show: we were really busy doing technical stuff), but anyway.

Oh, almost forgot to share one more picture – with ElcomSoft people:

From left to right:

  • Andrey Belenko, IT Security Analyst (and an inventor of GPU acceleration; well-known person in ‘crypto’ world)
  • Olga Koksharova, Marketing Director (doing real and smart marketing and PR, much better than PGP’s one)
  • Vladimir Katalov, CEO/co-owner (me; ex-programmer – not a stupid ‘manager’ hired by expensive headhunters)

And finally, thanks to all who made the comments to my previous post. As you can see, our blog is NOT MODERATED – in contrary to PGP’s one (which is actually premoderated, try it yourself; we made some comments there, but they have not appeared – at least in about two hours after writing). Censored? ;)

NVIDIA about Intel

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

Considering Intel Core i7? Read Nvidia Says Core i7 Isn’t Worth It and nVidia calls Core i7 a waste of money first. We’d agree that investing into GPU(s) is really a good idea, especially if you need to crack passwords.

More cores, faster password cracking

Friday, April 24th, 2009

AMD revealed that its plans a 12-core Opteron processor in 2010, and a 16-core Opteron in 2011. Unfortunately, almost no further/technical details — more cores is definitely good, but we’d like to see whether AMD is able to implement SSE2 effectively. Right now, SSE2 instructions are executed much slower on AMD processors than on Intel ones, while they’re really important for SHA-1 (the most password checking routines are based on). Or may be SSE5 will give provide additional benefits for password cracking?

Intel Gulftown

Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

New member of Core i7 family: six cores, hyper-threading, and some new instructions — including ones for AES encryption. Unfortunately, useless for our password-cracking purposes: most password-checking routines are based on SHA-1. But anyway, an ability to run 12 threads at a time will definitely increase the performance. We’ll see (in Q1’2010). More info at Tom’s Hardware.

NVIDIA GT300

Monday, April 20th, 2009

According to The Inquirer, Nvidia GT300 promised in October. Should be a good video card for GPU-accelerated password cracking :).