We love the beginning of May because the final projects for college coursework start rolling into our tips line. Here’s one of the latest, it’s an automatic Master lock combination cracker which was built by [Ross Aiken] and his classmates as part of their ECE453 Embedded Microprocessor System Design class at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.
We’ve talked about the ease with which these locks can be cracked. But [Ross] points out that the resources we linked to before are flawed. To get the combination as quickly as possible the team has implemented an algorithm discussed here. Their machine uses a stepper motor to turn the dial with a big solenoid to pull on the shackle. The system is sensitive enough to detect the “sticky” spots of the lock, which are then used to narrow the number of possible combinations before brute forcing the combination. As you can see in the video after the break, the shackle moves slightly when pulled after an incorrect combination. The long vertical pin near the solenoid will pass through an optical sensor when the correct combination is found.
Do you have your own final project to show off? What are you waiting for, send us a tip about it!
Continue reading “Master lock auto-cracker built as coursework at University”
The power that a Graphics Processing Unit presents can be harnessed to do some dirty work when trying to crack passwords. [Vijay] took a look at some of the options out there for cracking passwords and found that utilizing the GPU produces the correct password in a fraction of the time. On a Windows machine he pitted the Cain password recovery tool which uses the CPU for its calculations against ighashgpu which uses ATI or Nvidia graphics cards to do the deed. Hands down ighashgpu is the fastest; with Cain taking about one year to crack an eight character password while ighashgpu can do it in under nineteen hours.
We were very interested to see how easy it is to use this package. We looked in on GPU cracking in September but didn’t focus on the software packages that are out there. Now that you know how easily your password can be unearthed perhaps you will get some use out of this article discussing the usability and security of longer passwords which we ran across over on Reddit.
So you spent the big bucks and got that fancy safe but if these guys can build a robot to brute-force the combination you can bet there are thieves out there who can pull it off too. [Kyle Vogt] mentioned that we featured the first iteration of his build back in 2006 but we can’t find that article. So read through his build log linked above and then check out the video of the new version after the break. It’s cracking the combination on a Sargent and Greenleaf 8500 lock. There’s an interesting set of motions necessary to open the safe. Turn the dial four revolutions to the first number, three revolutions to the second, two revolutions to the final number, then one revolution to zero the dial. After that you need to press the dial inward to activate the lever assembly. Finally, rotate the dial to 85 to retract the bolt which unlocks the safe.
The propaganda on this lock says it stood up to 20-hours of manual manipulation. But [Kyle] thinks his hardware can get it open in a few hours. His hardware looks extremely well-engineered and we’d bet some creative math can narrow down the time it takes to brute force the combo by not going in sequence.
Continue reading “Cracking a manipulation-proof, million combination safe”
[Ben Kurtz] is doing a little WEP cracking but in a bit of a different way than we’re used to. WEP cracking makes us think of war driving; driving around with your laptop open, looking for WiFi access points, and stopping to run some software when you find them. [Ben's] way is similar but different in one key way, he’s using an iPhone as the frontend.
This started as a way to find a use for some leftover equipment. He threw together a Linux box and loaded up Aircrack-ng, the software we often see used in penetration testing. To remove himself from shady-looking activities in public he coded a web interface using the Python package Turbogears. It uses screen, a program often used with SSH to run services concurrently in different terminals, with the option to disconnect without stopping the processes. Now it’s just a matter of parking the hardware near an AP, and doing the work in a browser on your mobile device. You can check out the script he wrote, as well as installation instructions, in his post linked above.
[Thanks Tech B.]
[Note: Banner image not directly related to this post]
Recently, research students at Georgia Tech released a report outlining the dangers that GPUs pose to the current state of password security. There are a number of ways to crack a password, all with their different pros and cons, but when it comes down to it, the limiting factor in all of these methods is processing complexity. The more operations that need to be run, the longer it takes, and the less useful each tool is for cracking passwords. In the past, most recommendations for password security revolved around making sure your password wasn’t something predictable, such as “password” or your birthday. With today’s (and tomorrows) GPUs, this may no longer be enough.
Continue reading “GPU Processing and Password Cracking”
Irongeek.com is hosting an online class on password exploitation. The event was a fundraiser called ShoeCon, but they are hosting the entire series for everyone to share. Not only are the videos there, but you can download the powerpoint slides as well. There is a massive amount of information here on various topics like Hashcat, OCLHashcat, Cain, SAMDump2, Nir’s Password Recovery Tools, Password Renew, Backtrack 4 R1, UBCD4Win. There’s so much info, they split it into 3 sections. The videos are fairly long, between 1 and 2.5 hours each. What might surprise people is the amount of time that google is actually one of the main tools.
These videos can be a fantastic resource for hobby hackers, IT admins, and security professionals.
We first covered breaking the commodity 27MHz radios used in wireless keyboards, mice, and presenters when [Luis Miras] gave a talk at Black Hat. Since then, the people at Dreamlab have managed to crack the encryption on Microsoft’s Wireless Optical Desktop 1000 and 2000 products (and possibly more). Analyzing the protocol they found out that meta keys like shift and ALT are transmitted in cleartext. The “encryption” used on each regular keystroke involves XORing the key against a random one byte value determined during the initial sync with the receiver. So, if you sniff the handshake, you can decrypt the keystrokes. You really don’t have to though; there are only 256 possible encryption keys. Using a dictionary file you can check all possible keys and determine the correct one after only receiving 20-50 keystrokes. Their demo video shows them sniffing keystrokes from three different keyboards at the same time. Someone could potentially build a wireless keylogger that picks up every keystrokes from every keyboard in an office. You can read more about the attack in the whitepaper(pdf).
[via Midnight Research Labs]
Continue reading “Wireless keyboards easily cracked”