Hacker can unscramble coded Web traffic for $200July 29, 2012 – 7:58 PM
A hacking expert has launched a $200 password-cracking tool that makes it easy to decipher Internet traffic sent through a widely used method for securing businesses communications. Moxie Marlinspike, one of the world’s top encryption experts, unveiled the tool on Saturday during a presentation at the Def Con hacking conference in Las Vegas. Marlinspike said he developed the service, CloudCracker.com, by taking advantage of a vulnerability he discovered in a widely used virtual private network technology known as point-to-point tunneling protocol. Virtual private networks, or VPNs, scramble traffic as it travels between a PC and its final destination so that the data is useless to hackers if they eavesdrop on those communications. But Marlinspike provides clients with a tool that analyzes captured data streams and creates a data file that they upload to his website. He then runs that through code-cracking computer programs that figure out a password that will unscramble the protected communications. He delivers that to clients within 24 hours.