Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

9/12/2008
01:24 AM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme
Commentary
50%
50%

Password Crackers For Hire

Earlier this week we wrote about how attackers are selling bogus security software suites to not only rip unsuspecting Web surfers off, but also infect their systems with malware. Now, an IBM researcher says many of those Webmail online password "recovery" services may actually be hackers for hire.

Earlier this week we wrote about how attackers are selling bogus security software suites to not only rip unsuspecting Web surfers off, but also infect their systems with malware. Now, an IBM researcher says many of those Webmail online password "recovery" services may actually be hackers for hire.Imagine you want to snoop on your wife, girlfriend, employees, or whomever: a good place to start would be reading their e-mail. Consider the case of the Philadelphia KYW-TV news personality was busted for allegedly reading his co-worker's e-mail.

Turns out, if his co-worker had of caught on that her e-mail was being snooped on, and changed her password, any number of services on the Web are available to crack someone's Webmail account. This is from Tim Wilson's story today on Dark Reading, quoting Gunter Ollmann, chief security strategist at IBM's Internet Security Systems unit:

For between $300 to $600, a hacker can find a full suite of Webmail cracking tools on the 'Net, complete with the ability to do brute-force "guessing" of simple passwords and enhanced tools for penetrating the CAPTCHA authentication methods used on Webmail services, he notes.

And now those capabilities are being turned into hack-for-hire services, Ollmann says. Such services have been around for about two years, he notes, but today's CAPTCHA-breaking methods have become so effective that for about $100, the service provider can not only promise to give you the password to a specific Webmail account, but it can also promise to give you subsequent passwords if the legitimate owner should change passwords.

"These services can essentially give you a 'lifetime service contract' that you will always know the password to that account," Ollmann said.

So whether it's bogus software suites, scare ware, or hacking someone else's Webmail account as-a-service - the bad guys are changing tactics. When I first started writing about security, more than a decade ago, a hacker either had to guess someone's password, or install keystroke loggers or a sniffer on their network or system. Today, it's just outsourced.

Here's Ollmann's original blog, it's an eye opener.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Why Cyber-Risk Is a C-Suite Issue
Marc Wilczek, Digital Strategist & CIO Advisor,  11/12/2019
Unreasonable Security Best Practices vs. Good Risk Management
Jack Freund, Director, Risk Science at RiskLens,  11/13/2019
Breaches Are Inevitable, So Embrace the Chaos
Ariel Zeitlin, Chief Technology Officer & Co-Founder, Guardicore,  11/13/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Navigating the Deluge of Security Data
In this Tech Digest, Dark Reading shares the experiences of some top security practitioners as they navigate volumes of security data. We examine some examples of how enterprises can cull this data to find the clues they need.
Flash Poll
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Frustrated with recurring intrusions and breaches, cybersecurity professionals are questioning some of the industrys conventional wisdom. Heres a look at what theyre thinking about.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2019-19010
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-16
Eval injection in the Math plugin of Limnoria (before 2019.11.09) and Supybot (through 2018-05-09) allows remote unprivileged attackers to disclose information or possibly have unspecified other impact via the calc and icalc IRC commands.
CVE-2019-16761
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-15
A specially crafted Bitcoin script can cause a discrepancy between the specified SLP consensus rules and the validation result of the [email protected] npm package. An attacker could create a specially crafted Bitcoin script in order to cause a hard-fork from the SLP consensus. All versions >1.0...
CVE-2019-16762
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-15
A specially crafted Bitcoin script can cause a discrepancy between the specified SLP consensus rules and the validation result of the slpjs npm package. An attacker could create a specially crafted Bitcoin script in order to cause a hard-fork from the SLP consensus. Affected users can upgrade to any...
CVE-2019-13581
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-15
An issue was discovered in Marvell 88W8688 Wi-Fi firmware before version p52, as used on Tesla Model S/X vehicles manufactured before March 2018, via the Parrot Faurecia Automotive FC6050W module. A heap-based buffer overflow allows remote attackers to cause a denial of service or execute arbitrary ...
CVE-2019-13582
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-15
An issue was discovered in Marvell 88W8688 Wi-Fi firmware before version p52, as used on Tesla Model S/X vehicles manufactured before March 2018, via the Parrot Faurecia Automotive FC6050W module. A stack overflow could lead to denial of service or arbitrary code execution.