recommended reading

Security expert unveils new password cracking service


Cryptography expert Moxie Marlinspike has released tools to pick up encrypted traffic on wireless networks and virtual private networks designed to prevent eavesdropping, CNET reports. Marlinspike unveiled his work at the annual Def Con security conference in Las Vegas on Saturday.

The tools were created to help companies and auditors measure how hacker-proof their networks are.  

One of the tools exploits a vulnerability in a widely used encryption protocol based on an algorithm from Microsoft called MS-CHAPv2, reports show. It allows users to capture streams of data from online traffic, which are then fed into, a Web-based service that deciphers the keys protecting communications. 

With that, users can get intercept the online traffic traveling across networks -- and get access to any sensitive government emails or credit card information being transmitted

Marlinspike has previously received funding from the military venture arm Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency for security research, under the program Cyber Fast Track, a website for the program indicates.

The funding program is a DARPA experiment to tap nontraditional players and independent security researchers for ideas to bolster government networks.

Marlinspike’s tools are designed for network auditors to legitimately test wireless networks and virtual private networks, or VPNs; but people who harbor malicious intent or just want to get up to some mischief could just as easily tap them.  

(Image via isak55/

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.