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RE: RE: looking for a webapp bruteforce video for non-techies
From: admin () systemstates net
Date: Tue, 03 Jun 2008 09:38:50 -0700

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: RE: looking for a webapp bruteforce video for
non-techies
From: "Martin O'Neal" <martin.oneal () corsaire com>
Date: Tue, June 03, 2008 5:01 pm
To: "Robin Wood" <dninja () gmail com>,  <webappsec () securityfocus com>, 
"pen-test" <pen-test () securityfocus com>

It didn't help that the password was only 5
characters!

That may not actually be such a bad password (on balance and in
context).  Sure it is a dictionary/leet word variant, but five
characters actually carry plenty of entropy (if mixed case and numerics
are also used).  However, if you have an authentication mechanism that
doesn't lock out an account and *allows* brute forcing, it doesn't
really matter how strong the password is; given enough
universe-lifetimes an attacker will always guess it eventually.

I saw one setup where I could recover three quarters (about four thousand) of one set of passwords on a Celeron 2GHz in 
under an hour. Another set of passwords were forced to 4-digits (insane, I know), and due to the number of users, each 
would share his/her password with about 4 other people. 

The point is here, you wouldn't necessarily break any per-user lockout limits, because you could take thirty minutes 
looping over the entire userbase with the same password, then start again and still get a good number of cracks.

So, definitely depends on the size of your userbase and whether they can be effectively enumerated. Even so, I wouldn't 
regard any dictionary word with one character tweaked as secure these days.

cheers,

-- 
www.systemstates.net - penetration test / IDS / incident response



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