The Cold War is over and Russia and America are getting along. So surely the Men in Black behind the United States’ cyber weapons program based at Area 51 or wherever will not be too concerned that a Russian researcher cracked an encoded password associated with the now infamous, allegedly American-made Flame malware.
Symantec and Kaspersky recently teamed to pick apart Flame’s command and control systems, discovering at least three previously unknown infectious scripts in the process. The researchers also discovered a great deal about how the weapons were assembled and launched against enemy targets, but were left with a hashed passcode they couldn’t break. They put out a call for help but didn’t need the assistance of anyone outside either outfit, after all:
Kaspersky analyst Dmitry Bestuzhev cracked the hash for the password Sept. 17 just hours after Symantec put out a public request for help getting into the control panel for Flame, which infected thousands of computers in the Mideast. [...]
The hash – 27934e96d90d06818674b98bec7230fa – was resolved to the plain text password 900gage!@# by Bestuzhev.
So now the whole world knows the password that once protected the servers behind Flame, a complex and sophisticated cyber weapon that was a major blow to Iran’s nuclear program.
Which is a little scary, because if someone can crack the password that once protected such a covert weapon created by a nation state, the average Internet user’s method of password protecting their GMail with a pet’s name plus grandma’s birthday doesn’t seem too safe anymore.
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