PenTest Magazine just released a issue focused on BackTrack titled BackTrack Compendium. I wrote a piece on compromising passwords using tools available in Kali Linux. An image from the introduction of my piece can be found below. I haven’t had a chance to review the entire magazine however glancing over it and found many interesting topics such as “Improve your Firewall Auditing”, “Building a SQLI Test Lab”, “How to Set Up a Software Hacking Lab”, “Multiphase Penetration Testing with Metasploit, Backtrack and Armitage”, “Metasploit Primer”, and many many more. I have a lot of good reading to do this week Continue reading
People use weak password practices to secure critical information. Weak password practices include using the same password for multiple systems regardless of the value of the asset, dictionary words, short phases and keeping the same passwords for extended periods of time. For example, it’s common to find a password on a non-critical asset such as a PlayStation 3 be the same as a person’s bank account login.
The more information an attack knows about your password profile, the more likely they will crack your password. For example, a policy of “6-10 characters with one upper case letter and special character” actually helps an attacker reduce the target space meaning passwords are weaker with the policy. If an hacker captures a password for another system and notices a formula such as ‘<dictionary word>’ followed by ‘<3 numbers>’, it helps the attacker prepare a dictionary attack (utilities such as Crunch makes this easy). Any password shorter than 10 characters is an easy target to brute force attack based on today’s system process power. Continue reading
A common saying is ” Amateurs Hack Systems, Professionals Hack People”. Social engineering is the art of manipulating people into performing actions or divulging confidential information. People fall for social engineering tricks based on their instinct to be helpful and trusting. The typical attacker never comes face-to-face with a victim using deception through email, social networks or over the phone. Continue reading
Its shocking how organizations are compromised due to administration carelessness such as using default passwords or advertising sensitive information on public sources. Many companies purchase top dollar security solutions however fail at addressing the most common security weakness; enforcing thorough security policies. One popular reconnaissance technic known as Google Hacking (however can use other search engines) can expose confidential information, vulnerabilities and login credentials using Internet search engines. Here are some tips to avoid being abused by Google Hacking or other reconnaissance techniques. Continue reading
How many people use eight-character or less passwords with the first letter being capital and last entries being numbers? People are predictable and so are their passwords. To make things worse, people are lazy and tend to use the same passwords for just about everything that requires one. A study from the DEFCON hacker conference stated, “with $3,000 dollars and 10 days, we can find your password. If the dollar amount is increased, the time can be reduced further”. This means regardless of how clever you think your password is, its eventually going to be crack-able as computers get faster utilizing brute force algorithms mixed with human probability. Next year the same researchers may state, “with 30 dollars and 10 seconds, we can have your password”. Time is against you. Continue reading