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
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 9/21/2020
Cybersecurity Bounces Back, but Talent Still Absent
Simone Petrella, Chief Executive Officer, CyberVista,  9/16/2020
Meet the Computer Scientist Who Helped Push for Paper Ballots
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  9/16/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
How IT Security Organizations are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
The COVID-19 pandemic turned the world -- and enterprise computing -- on end. Here's a look at how cybersecurity teams are retrenching their defense strategies, rebuilding their teams, and selecting new technologies to stop the oncoming rise of online attacks.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-25514
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-22
Sourcecodester Simple Library Management System 1.0 is affected by Incorrect Access Control via the Login Panel, http://<site>/lms/admin.php.
CVE-2020-25515
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-22
Sourcecodester Simple Library Management System 1.0 is affected by Insecure Permissions via Books > New Book , http://<site>/lms/index.php?page=books.
CVE-2020-14022
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-22
Ozeki NG SMS Gateway 4.17.1 through 4.17.6 does not check the file type when bulk importing new contacts ("Import Contacts" functionality) from a file. It is possible to upload an executable or .bat file that can be executed with the help of a functionality (E.g. the "Application Star...
CVE-2020-14023
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-22
Ozeki NG SMS Gateway through 4.17.6 allows SSRF via SMS WCF or RSS To SMS.
CVE-2020-14024
PUBLISHED: 2020-09-22
Ozeki NG SMS Gateway through 4.17.6 has multiple authenticated stored and/or reflected XSS vulnerabilities via the (1) Receiver or Recipient field in the Mailbox feature, (2) OZFORM_GROUPNAME field in the Group configuration of addresses, (3) listname field in the Defining address lists configuratio...