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7/31/2013
03:52 AM
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New Free Service Cracks Weak Passwords

Cloud-based tool released for password auditing

Praetorian this week launched a free, cloud-based password auditing service that ferrets out weak passwords and hashes.

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The new PWAudit.com is based on Amazon AWS; it automatically detects hash types and includes a wordlist generator and reporting features. Password-cracking tools aren't new, but the service is aimed at making the process more user-friendly and scalable, according to Praetorian.

"With the number of breaches increased, especially with passwords, companies are more aware of the risks. This tool helps them demonstrate or make the case internally and do their own type of audit prior to a penetration test or before a breach happens," says Josh Abraham, director of services at Praetorian.

Password creation and management has become a major headache to organizations as users and administrators struggle to manage multiple passwords, and users not surprisingly prefer easy-to-recall (read: weak) passwords. "It's frustrating. But at the end of the day, organizations need to understand the risks in the way they handle passwords," Abraham says.

[The Petition Against Passwords calls for no more password login. See Campaign Launched To Kill Off The Password.]

The password-cracking service supports various hashing methods, and includes a reporting dashboard that provides risk assessment of hashes, for example. "Our software identifies trends in passwords" present in an organization, Abraham says.

Paul Jauregui, vice president of marketing at Praetorian, says password auditing helps organizations get a handle on weak passwords. "Passwords are often the frontline of digital defense, but also the weakest link," he said. "Password auditing helps organizations demonstrate and manage the inherent risk associated with password-based user authentication. PWAudit.com makes powerful password cracking methods simple, accessible, and easy to use."

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Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Executive Editor of Dark Reading. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise ... View Full Bio

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