Posts Tagged ‘password recovery’

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.

Wardriving with NVIDIA

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

17" screen, Intel Core 2 Extreme processor (four cores) plus NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260M — an excellent device not only for gaming, but also for wardriving. Get it from Sager, and just add Wireless Security Auditor.

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?

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 :).

Password cracking with Microsoft cofee

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

No, it’s no a typo :). COFEE means Computer Online Forensic Evidence Extractor, actually. Never heard about it? Then read Microsoft supplies Interpol with DIY forensics tool. Just don’t ask where to get it. We have not seen it either.

NEW: Rainbow Tables for password-protected Excel spreadsheets

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

And now…. we have Rainbow Tables for Microsoft Excel docs with 40-bit encryption. So, it became possible to reach near-instant recovery of 97% of spreadsheets created in MS Excel 97-2003. Unfortunately, due to specificity of Excel spreadsheets format it’s unreal to get 100%-recovery, still, you can use brute force to cover the rest 3%.  

Loading….

Attacking…

Result!

Microsoft Office 14

Thursday, April 16th, 2009

According to CNET News, Office 14 technical preview will be available in Q3, and release version in the first half of 2010; Office 2010 will come in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions.

If password encryption will be improved there — of course, we’ll update Office Password Recovery accordingly. Though it is already good enough in Office 2007 — even with GPU acceleration, the password recovery speed is only thousands passwords per second (see some benchmarks at Distributed Password Recovery page), so even relatively short passwords are secure enough.

Smart Password Mutations Explained

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

Strong passwords are mutated passwords. Everyone who publishes recommendations on creating secure password says that you have to use both upper- and lower-case letters and inject some tricky special characters. Such recommendations may result in p@$$words and pAsswOrds, and p_a_s_s_w_o_r_d_s. The fact is that modern password recovery software uses dictionary attack to get one’s password back. Dictionary attack means searching lists of dictionary words and common phrases that can be found on the Internet or delivered with the software. It is easy to grab that dictionary words and word phrases make bad passwords, but one has to understand that adding special characters to these words and phrases does’t do them any good. Such password can be easily cracked when smart mutations option is on. 

We give you a tip on word mutations implemented by modern password cracking tools, so that you can create really strong passwords for your files and accounts.

Nvidia Quadro FX 4800

Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

You should be aware that Distributed Password Recovery and Wireless Security Auditor work not only with NVIDIA GeForce cards and Tesla supercomputers (in terms of GPU acceleration), but with professional Quadro cards, too. We never compared the performance of GeForce and Quadro, though. Curious? Then read the Nvidia Quadro FX 4800: Workstation Graphics At Its Finest? article published at Tom’s Hardware today.

Technically, Quadro FX 4800 is very similar to GeForce GTX 280. But have a look at the Performance Comparison. On some tests, Quadro is up to 10 times faster than GeForce. Yes, almost the same GPU. Yes, same version of drivers. Amazing. Just note that the retail price on FX 4800 is in $1600-$2000 range. But if it can do password cracking at much higher rate than GeForce (again, we never tried it, sorry), it looks like a good investment.