If you thought that your 8 character WPA password was secure, think again. Thanks to the handy-dandy GPU, cracking weak WPA/WPA-2 PSK passwords has never been easier.
According the Elcomsoft, their Wireless Security Auditor can work completely off-line and find passwords by analyzing a dump of network communications, and display them in plain text.
What this means, is that if you’ve got a WPA protected network, you should probably bump your 8 character password up to at least 12 characters. According to David Hobson, “It's a wake-up call to IT managers, pure and simple. IT managers should now move to 12 and even 16 character keys as a matter of urgency. It's not very user-friendly, but the potential consequences of staying with eight character keys do not bear thinking about.”
A nifty new device by Option promises to turn 3G signals into a WiFi hotspot, while also serving as a central hub for connecting networked devices like an external hard drive via USB. Option says its device also supports printer sharing for anyone with access to the network.
"Option placed significant emphasis on product design during the development of the GlobeSurfer III: the device will not look out of place among the many stylish consumer electronic devices commonly found in the modern home," Option states in a pres release. "With its completely wireless configuration the GlobeSurfer III can be wall-mounted or sit on a desktop or shelf. This allows the router to be placed anywhere in the home, office or workshop to ensure optimum coverage and performance."
The new GlobeSurfer III uses the Qualcomm 7225 chipset and, according to Option, delivers HSUPA upload speeds of up to 5.76Mbps and download speeds up to 7.2Mbps.
Buffalo Electronics is staking the claim that their WLI-UC-GN Wi-Fi dongle is the smallest that’s been created. Whether this is true or not, we can’t say for sure, but one can’t help but admire its diminutive size and price tag.
The dongle will only run you $25, and it clocks in at 33mm by 16mm. Evidently, the brains behind the operating aren’t much bigger than the plug that goes into your computer. It’s reported that it will feature B/G certification for backwards compatibility with older wireless networks, base station operation, and an automated security system.
Let’s just hope that we can see this bad boy on our shores sooner than later, because a handy (and cheap) little piece of tech would find plenty of uses.
Palm is trying its best to revive its glory days of yore. To this end, the company is planning to launch the multitouch Palm Pre smartphone. It offered the first glimpse of the Palm Pre at the Consumer Electronics Show. The smartphone features an entirely new operating system called Web OS. It has a 3.1-inch, 480 by 320 pixel display that conceals a keyboard.
The Web OS has been designed to literally keep a low profile while a user is at work. For instance, new alerts don’t impede any ongoing activity. Furthermore, there is a separate gesture area below the screen for you to navigate between applications
It lists all your contact, including email and Facebook contacts, in a single list and, more importantly, ensures that there is no redundancy in the list – a person’s name is listed along with all his available contact details.
The phone offers all the generic connectivity features, including 3G, WiFi and Bluetooth. It has in-built GPS as well. The phone will debut during the first half of 2009 on the Sprint Network. The exact release date and its price are still unknown.
The mini-ITX form factor is still alive and kicking, and to prove it, Zotac has just expanded its mini-ITX lineup with the nForce 630i-ITX WiFi motherboard. As the board's nomenclature suggests, WiFi comes integrated with 802.11b/g support, as does graphics chores, which are handled by Nvidia's GeForce 7100 chipset.
The pint-sized board comes ready for Intel's lineup of Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad processors with support for a full 1333MHz frontside bus. RAM support, on the other hand, comes somewhat gimped topping out at DDR2-800 instead of DDR2-1066 or DDR3. Other features include:
Eight USB 2.0 ports (four on back panel, four on pin header)
Onboard 10/100 Ethernet
HD Audio 5.1
Dual display ready (VGA / DVI)
Four SATA II ports with RAID Support
Not a bad feature-set for a compact board, particularly if you're in the market for an HTPC build, where the integrated WiFi could end up a major selling point.
The device includes a 312MHz Marvell PXA270 processor, Linux 2.4.19, full QWERTY/AZERTY keyboard, an 8GB SD card slot ,Opera Mini 4.1 internet browser and 2.8 inch screen. The iKIT has inbuilt WiFi and Bluetooth capabilities, and supports HSDPA over USB. It has a standby time of 250 hours and power-up time of up to 3 hours.
The suggested retail price of roughly $170 makes it far more affordable than an Apple iPhone – a fact specifically called to attention by IMOVIO. However, practicality of such a product is just as important as the price, if not more, and will play a vital role in iKIT’s case as well.
The chips will not only prevent WiFi signals from loosing their strength while traversing walls but also reign in on any interference from other devices operating in the 2.4 or 5GHz bands. The chipsets are expected to cost between $20 and $40 each. These chips are expected to make their maiden commercial appearance sometime in 2009.
When it comes time to shop for a videocard, most people are concerned about the pixel pushing power and how well a new GPU can handle Crysis. Yet others are more concerned with a videocard's ability to fit into a home theater PC setup, both physically and functionally. Some GPUs are even sought after for their ability to fold proteins, but apparently there's another use emerging, one with malicious intent.
According to Global Secure Systems, a Russian firm used Nvidia GPUs to break through WPA and WPA2 encryption. Assuming the report is accurate, the implications are nothing less than frightening, as GSS claims the brute force attack managed to accelerate WiFi 'password recovery' times by up to 10,000 percent.
"This breakthrough in brute force decryption of WiFi signals by Elcomsoft confirms our observations that firms can no longer rely on standards-based security to protect their data," noted David Hobson, managing director of GSS. "As a result, we now advise clients using WiFi in their offices to move on up to a VPM encryption system as well."
But even moving to a VPN may not be enough, as many VPNs use AES encryption just like WPA2. And by throwing videocards into the mix (it remains unclear which specific Nvidia GPUs were utilized), accessibility quickly becomes a growing concern.
Does this latest attack concern you? Hit the jump and post your thoughts.
The technique leverages the parallel processing power of Nvidia’s latest graphics cards to speed up the “password recovery” process by 10,000 per cent. Global Security Systems (GSS) has advised enterprises to deploy VPNs for safeguarding their WiFi networks.
We, too, can only advise you to secure your office WiFi network using VPN encryption before professional industrial sleuths start waging brute forcing blitzkriegs using ordinary graphics cards.
Commercial wireless systems, which top out at hundreds of megabits per second, still have a ways to go before being on the level of optical fiber, which boasts tens of gigabits per second. Looking to close that gap, engineers at Battelle, a research and development firm based in Columbus, OH, have found a way to send data through the air using millimeter-wave technology.
Achieving faster speeds by harnessing the millimeter-wavelength frequency of the wireless spectrum isn't new, but it is both expensive and complex due to the equipment involved to generate the signal. Or at least it used to be. The Battelle team has taken off-the-shelf telecommunication components and, by modulating data on two low-frequency laser beams, has been able to create a pattern of interference that acts as a 100GHz signal (millimeter-wave technology operates on frequencies between 60GHz and 100GHz). By doing so, the team demonstrated a 20 gigabit-per-second signal in its lab.
While the research looks promising, a shipping product could still be years away. Putting the system together using existing components has helped to break through the cost barrier, but the new challenge will be to create a smaller device that's less unwieldy.