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[ISN] Moxie Marlinspike's CloudCracker Aims For Speedier, Cheaper Password Cracking


By Andy Greenberg
Forbes Staff

A little over two years ago, well-known hacker and security researcher Moxie Marlinspike launched an online service that, for a fee of $17, could crack most wifi networksâ password in less than hour. Apparently that wasnât fast enough.

On Tuesday, Marlinspike launched CloudCracker, an upgrade to the Web-based penetration testing service he formerly called WPACracker, with a major upgrade to the speed and versatility of that password-breaking service. For $17, CloudCracker can now break into a standard WPA-PSK wireless networks by burning through dictionaries of possible passwords at about twice the speed of WPACracker, exhausting 600 million words in one hour instead of 260 million in the previous version .

For networks with especially obscure passwords, the tool can now use dictionaries as big as 4.8 billion words in the same amount of time for the price of $136. And instead of only focusing on cracking wifi networks, the tool can now break passwords protected by Microsoftâs Windows LAN Manager and NT LAN Manager hashing systems too, for a price of fifty cents for every password. Marlinspike says he hopes to add more password formats in the future.

âWeâre really trying to push the envelope in terms of password cracking,â says Marlinspike, a well known security researcher who now works for Twitter but built CloudCracker as an independent project. âBasically you get more dictionaries for your dollar, about twice the cracking power for the same price.â


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