World Bulletin / News Desk
A hacking expert has launched a $200 password-cracking tool that makes it easy to decipher Internet traffic sent through a widely used method for securing businesses communications.
Moxie Marlinspike, one of the world's top encryption experts, unveiled the tool on Saturday during a presentation at the Def Con hacking conference in Las Vegas.
Marlinspike said he developed the service, CloudCracker.com, by taking advantage of a vulnerability he discovered in a widely used virtual private network technology known as point-to-point tunneling protocol.
Virtual private networks, or VPNs, scramble traffic as it travels between a PC and its final destination so that the data is useless to hackers if they eavesdrop on those communications.
But Marlinspike provides clients with a tool that analyzes captured data streams and creates a data file that they upload to his website. He then runs that through code-cracking computer programs that figure out a password that will unscramble the protected communications. He delivers that to clients within 24 hours.
With access to web traffic, hackers could potentially steal passwords to financial accounts, read business emails and learn business secrets.
Marlinspike said he will not screen clients to determine whether they are using CloudCracker for illegal purposes, although his ultimate intent is help computer users by pressuring operating systems makers to make their software safer.
"What we're trying to do is force people to use more secure VPN technology in the products they are building," he said.
Marlinspike said that small to mid-sized businesses and consumers typically use VPN software with the point-to-point tunneling protocol.
Large corporations typically supply their employees with VPN software from Cisco Systems Inc, whose communications cannot be cracked by CloudCracker.com, he said.
Marlinspike has worked for Twitter since the end of last year when the mobile blogging service acquired a company he co-founded, Whisper Systems. Marlinspike said that CloudCracker.com was a personal project and has nothing to do with Twitter.
Hackers and security experts present research on a wide range of vulnerabilities in products ranging from computers and networking equipment to locks, drones and air-traffic control systems at the annual Def Con gathering.
They often publicize their work in an effort to warn the public about security risks and pressure manufacturers to address the problems.
Researchers havfe said that the flaw leaves data stored by apps vulnerable with almost every category of app considered vulnerable
SpaceX revealed Monday that it is building a test track for the Hyperloop, a concept for ultra-fast ground transport the company’s CEO, Elon Musk, unveiled.
Biologists have created chicken embryos with dinosaur-like faces by tinkering with the molecules that build the birds' beaks.
Product available for pre-order in nine countries but devices won’t ship for weeks.
Nobel Prize-winning scientists' discovery can be manufactured cheaper thanks to Nanografi process.
Most industry experts expect the first product of 5G technology in the run-up to the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.
The slowdown in the rate of rising temperatures, from faster gains in the 1980s and 1990s, has puzzled scientists because heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions
The discovery challenges currently held theories that black holes and their host galaxies grew in relative lockstep over the eons.
Australian researchers are developing the new way to have a final product for Boeing Co, Airbus Group NV, very quickly than now. 3D printing can cut production times for components from three months to just six days.
Bogachev is charged in the United States with running a computer attack network called GameOver Zeus that allegedly stole more than $100 million from online bank accounts.
The account started sharing videos and photos of the militant group a few days ago
U.S., UK spies hacked SIM card maker Gemalto's system, Intercept says, giving spies ability to monitor calls on billions of phones
The next time an earthquake hits the Pacific Northwest, a handful of computers in offices across the region will have access to a software that will send out an alarm, alerting people before the earthquake strikes.
Researchers in Britain have discovered that limpet teeth exhibit a strength that is potentially higher than spider silk.
Epigenetic differences are one reason identical twins, who have identical DNA, do not always develop the same genetic diseases, including cancer.