11/30/2009
11:33 AM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme
Commentary

Famous Password Auditing Tool, L0phtCrack Is Back

After a couple of years of rest, L0phtCrack, one of the most famous password auditing and recovery tools is back.



After a couple of years of rest, L0phtCrack, one of the most famous password auditing and recovery tools is back.L0phtCrack, originally built by L0pht Heavy Industries, cracks passwords at swift speeds by scanning through a dictionary of words, generating words to form probable passwords guesses, and also attempts to break passwords through brute-force attacks (trying every possible character combination). L0phtCrack also enables security managers to review the strength of employee passwords and disable accounts and force users to strengthen their passwords.

Some contend that tools such as L0phtCrack are just as easily used by criminals as they are by security professionals. And they are, but as we saw yesterday from Microsoft's recent honeypot data relating to passwords, security managers need to be able to audit passwords with the best tools possible.

Back in 1997 when L0pht Heavy Industries released L0phtCrack, the group was widely condemned for releasing a "hacking" tool. L0phtCrack became one of the most widely used "hacking tools" by legitimate businesses and government agencies, including the Government Accounting Office.

L0phtCrack became property of Symantec when Symantec acquired the security and auditing consulting firm @Stake in September 2004. @stake was founded in 2000 by members of L0pht. Symantec then retired L0phtCrack in 2007. At the time, Symantec wouldn't elaborate why it decided to terminate the tool, other than to say in a statement that L0phtCrack "no longer fits into Symantec's larger product portfolio and future strategy."

You can check out the L0phtCrack Web site here.

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