Archive for February, 2011

Google didn’t google “Go” before naming their programming language

Google’s Go programming language, which is designed for exceptionally fast compilation times with built-in support for garbage collection.

It’s too early to actually tell if Go will be a game changing new language, or just another one of Google’s geeky side projects, but with Unix co-creator Ken Thompson and operating system pioneer Rob Pike behind Go, it is, understandably, getting a lot of press.

But do a Google search for “go programming language” and you’ll find that Google’s Go isn’t the only Go programming language. In fact, there’s another language that has already had that name, and its creator is furious.

“Go!” creator Frank McCabe doesn’t understand how Google could have failed to be aware of the name of his own programming language. It’s an obscure language, but hardly something Google themselves couldn’t have found reference to in their own search engine.

As McCabe explains: “I have been working on [Go!] for the last 10 years. There have been papers published on this and I have a book.” That book, incidentally, is available for browsing over at Google Books, which appears to have scanned the whole thing in.

Needless to say, McCabe’s not taking this lying down: he’s demanding that Google change the name of their Go programming language so he doesn’t have to abandon the name of his own language, one he’s spent a better part of a decade fine tuning. I tend to doubt Google will heed the complaint, but I personally hope they do: steamrolling over a poor programming underdog is the very antithesis of “don’t be evil.”

via Google didn’t google “Go” before naming their programming language – Tech Products & Geek News |

THC-HYDRA – fast and flexible network login hacker

THC-HYDRA – fast and flexible network login hacker.


A very fast network logon cracker which support many different services
state-of-the-art: hydra-6.1-src.tar.gz (IPv6 and new modules)
stable: hydra-5.9.1-src.tar.gz (just fixes)

Last update 2011-02-03

[0x00] News and Changelog

Hydra is now over 10 years old! Yeah!
Good news: hydra is now co-maintained by co-maintained by David Maciejak @ gmail (dot) com,
thanks a lot!
Hydra is made available under GPLv3 with a special OpenSSL license expansion.
No more windows .exe cygwin port. Too many clueless people hassled me why hydra.exe
does not work for them when they double-click on it … duh

Because v6 contains a lot of new code for IPv6, 5.9.x is kept and maintained further until v6 is stable.
It was tested to work on Linux, Windows/Cygwin, Solaris 11, FreeBSD 8.1 and OSX.

CHANGELOG for 6.1 (development and new features)
* More license updates for the files for the debian guys
* Fix for the configure script to correctly detect postgresql
* Add checks for libssh v0.4 and support for ssh v1
* Merge all latest crypto code in sasl files
* Fix SVN compilation issue on openSUSE (tested with v11.3)

CHANGELOG for 6.0 (development and new features)
* Added GPL exception clause to license to allow linking to OpenSSL – debian people need this
* IPv6 support finally added. Note: sip and socks5 modules do not support IPv6 yet
* Bugfix for SIP module, thanks to yori(at)counterhackchallenges(dot)com
* Compile fixes for systems without OpenSSL or old OpenSSL installations
* Eliminated compile time warnings
* xhydra updates to support the new features (david@)
* Added CRAM-MD5, DIGEST-MD5 auth mechanism to the smtp-auth module (david@)
* Added LOGIN, PLAIN, CRAM-(MD5,SHA1,SHA256) and DIGEST-MD5 auth mechanisms to the imap and pop3 modules (david@)
* Added APOP auth to POP3 module (david@)
* Added NTLM and DIGEST-MD5 to http-auth module and DIGEST-MD5 to http-proxy module (david@)
* Fixed VNC module for None and VLC auth (david@)
* Fixes for LDAP module (david@)
* Bugfix Telnet module linemode option negotiation using win7 (david@)
* Bugfix SSH module when max auth connection is reached (david@)

CHANGELOG for 5.9.1 (stable)
* Fixes for SSH, VNC and LDAP (all by david@)

Have fun!

Some dictionaries are listed here:

Hack Weak Passwords

How I’d Hack Your Weak Passwords.

How I’d Hack Your Weak Passwords

by John P.

User LoginIf you invited me to try and crack your password, you know the one that you use over and over for like every web page you visit, how many guesses would it take before I got it?

Let’s see… here is my top 10 list. I can obtain most of this information much easier than you think, then I might just be able to get into your e-mail, computer, or online banking. After all, if I get into one I’ll probably get into all of them.

  1. Your partner, child, or pet’s name, possibly followed by a 0 or 1 (because they’re always making you use a number, aren’t they?)
  2. The last 4 digits of your social security number.
  3. 123 or 1234 or 123456.
  4. “password”
  5. Your city, or college, football team name.
  6. Date of birth – yours, your partner’s or your child’s.
  7. “god”
  8. “letmein”
  9. “money”
  10. “love”

Statistically speaking that should probably cover about 20% of you. But don’t worry. If I didn’t get it yet it will probably only take a few more minutes before I do…

Hackers, and I’m not talking about the ethical kind, have developed a whole range of tools to get at your personal data. And the main impediment standing between your information remaining safe, or leaking out, is the password you choose. (Ironically, the best protection people have is usually the one they take least seriously.)

One of the simplest ways to gain access to your information is through the use of a Brute Force Attack. This is accomplished when a hacker uses a specially written piece of software to attempt to log into a site using your credentials. has a list of the Top 10 FREE Password Crackers right here.

So, how would one use this process to actually breach your personal security? Simple. Follow my logic:

  • You probably use the same password for lots of stuff right?
  • Some sites you access such as your Bank or work VPN probably have pretty decent security, so I’m not going to attack them.
  • However, other sites like the Hallmark e-mail greeting cards site, an online forum you frequent, or an e-commerce site you’ve shopped at might not be as well prepared. So those are the ones I’d work on.
  • So, all we have to do now is unleash Brutus, wwwhack, or THC Hydra on their server with instructions to try say 10,000 (or 100,000 – whatever makes you happy) different usernames and passwords as fast as possible.
  • Once we’ve got several login+password pairings we can then go back and test them on targeted sites.
  • But wait… How do I know which bank you use and what your login ID is for the sites you frequent? All those cookies are simply stored, unencrypted and nicely named, in your Web browser’s cache. (Read this post to remedy that problem.)

And how fast could this be done? Well, that depends on three main things, the length and complexity of your password, the speed of the hacker’s computer, and the speed of the hacker’s Internet connection.

Assuming the hacker has a reasonably fast connection and PC here is an estimate of the amount of time it would take to generate every possible combination of passwords for a given number of characters. After generating the list it’s just a matter of time before the computer runs through all the possibilities – or gets shut down trying.

Pay particular attention to the difference between using only lowercase characters and using all possible characters (uppercase, lowercase, and special characters – like @#$%^&*). Adding just one capital letter and one asterisk would change the processing time for an 8 character password from 2.4 days to 2.1 centuries.

Password Length All Characters Only Lowercase
3 characters
4 characters
5 characters
6 characters
7 characters
8 characters
9 characters
10 characters
11 characters
12 characters
13 characters
14 characters
0.86 seconds
1.36 minutes
2.15 hours
8.51 days
2.21 years
2.10 centuries
20 millennia
1,899 millennia
180,365 millennia
17,184,705 millennia
1,627,797,068 millennia
154,640,721,434 millennia
0.02 seconds
.046 seconds
11.9 seconds
5.15 minutes
2.23 hours
2.42 days
2.07 months
4.48 years
1.16 centuries
3.03 millennia
78.7 millennia
2,046 millennia

Remember, these are just for an average computer, and these assume you aren’t using any word in the dictionary. If Google put their computer to work on it they’d finish about 1,000 times faster.

Now, I could go on for hours and hours more about all sorts of ways to compromise your security and generally make your life miserable – but 95% of those methods begin with compromising your weak password. So, why not just protect yourself from the start and sleep better at night?

Believe me, I understand the need to choose passwords that are memorable. But if you’re going to do that how about using something that no one is ever going to guess AND doesn’t contain any common word or phrase in it.

Here are some password tips:

  1. Randomly substitute numbers for letters that look similar. The letter ‘o’ becomes the number ’0′, or even better an ‘@’ or ‘*’. (i.e. – m0d3ltf0rd… like modelTford)
  2. Randomly throw in capital letters (i.e. – Mod3lTF0rd)
  3. Think of something you were attached to when you were younger, but DON’T CHOOSE A PERSON’S NAME! Every name plus every word in the dictionary will fail under a simple brute force attack.
  4. Maybe a place you loved, or a specific car, an attraction from a vacation, or a favorite restaurant?
  5. You really need to have different username / password combinations for everything. Remember, the technique is to break into anything you access just to figure out your standard password, then compromise everything else. This doesn’t work if you don’t use the same password everywhere.
  6. Since it can be difficult to remember a ton of passwords, I recommend using Roboform for Windows users. It will store all of your passwords in an encrypted format and allow you to use just one master password to access all of them. It will also automatically fill in forms on Web pages, and you can even get versions that allow you to take your password list with you on your PDA, phone or a USB key. If you’d like to download it without having to navigate their web site here is the direct download link.
  7. Mac users can use 1Password. It is essentially the same thing as Roboform, except for Mac, and they even have an iPhone application so you can take them with you too.
  8. Once you’ve thought of a password, try Microsoft’s password strength tester to find out how secure it is.

By request I also created a short RoboForm Tutorial. Hope it helps…

Another thing to keep in mind is that some of the passwords you think matter least actually matter most. For example, some people think that the password to their e-mail box isn’t important because “I don’t get anything sensitive there.” Well, that e-mail box is probably connected to your online banking account. If I can compromise it then I can log into the Bank’s Web site and tell it I’ve forgotten my password to have it e-mailed to me. Now, what were you saying about it not being important?

Often times people also reason that all of their passwords and logins are stored on their computer at home, which is save behind a router or firewall device. Of course, they’ve never bothered to change the default password on that device, so someone could drive up and park near the house, use a laptop to breach the wireless network and then try passwords from this list until they gain control of your network – after which time they will own you!

Now I realize that every day we encounter people who over-exaggerate points in order to move us to action, but trust me this is not one of those times. There are 50 other ways you can be compromised and punished for using weak passwords that I haven’t even mentioned.

I also realize that most people just don’t care about all this until it’s too late and they’ve learned a very hard lesson. But why don’t you do me, and yourself, a favor and take a little action to strengthen your passwords and let me know that all the time I spent on this article wasn’t completely in vain.

Please, be safe. It’s a jungle out there.