204w ago - It appears the RSA encryption scheme has fallen as cryptographers have broken [PDF] 768-bit keys via the widely used public-key algorithm.
An international team of mathematicians, computer scientists and cryptographers broke the key though NFS, or number field sieve, which allowed them to deduce two prime numbers that when multiplied together generated a number with 768 bits.
The discovery, which took about two-and-a-half years and hundreds of general-purpose computers, means 768-bit RSA keys can no longer be counted on to encrypt or authenticate sensitive communications.
To quote: "The latest milestone to fall is 768-bit RSA; in a paper posted on a cryptography preprint server, academic researchers have now announced that they factored one of these keys in early December.
Most modern cryptography relies on single large numbers that are the product of two primes. If you know the numbers, it's relatively easy to encrypt and decrypt data; if you don't, finding the numbers by brute force is a big computational challenge.
The paper describes how the process was done with commodity hardware, albeit lots of it."
228w ago - Update: A Microsoft spokesperson has confirmed to Neowin: "We are aware of reports of activation exploits that attempt to circumvent activation & validation in Windows 7, and we can assure customers that Microsoft is committed to protecting them from counterfeit and pirated software.
Microsoft strongly advises customers not to download Windows 7 from unauthorized sources. Downloading Windows 7 from peer-to-peer Web sites is piracy, and exposes users to increased risks - such as viruses, Trojans and other malware and malicious code–that usually accompany counterfeit software."
Despite Microsoft firing a warning to pirates earlier this year, the anti-piracy tools built into Windows 7 appear to have been beaten by a leaked OEM master key obtained from a Windows 7 Ultimate OEM DVD belonging to system manufacturer Lenovo.
The leaked disc image first surfaced on a Chinese forum, and has since made its way across the globe where users are quickly using the master key to activate machines of any brand.
Proving that the hack does actually work, users...
265w ago - PCWorld reports today that security researchers have developed a way to partially crack the Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) encryption standard used to protect data on many wireless networks.
However, the attack does not however work with the WPA2 standard states Dragos Ruiu, the PacSec conference's organizer who will be discussing it next week in Tokyo.
To quote: "Everybody has been saying, 'Go to WPA because WEP is broken,'" Ruiu said. "This is a break in WPA."
If WPA is significantly compromised, it would be a big blow for enterprise customers who have been increasingly adopting it, said Sri Sundaralingam, vice president of product management with wireless network security vendor AirTight Networks.
Although customers can adopt Wi-Fi technology such as WPA2 or virtual private network software that will protect them from this attack, there are still may devices that connect to the network using WPA, or even the thoroughly cracked WEP standard, he said.
Ruiu expects a lot more WPA research to follow this work. "Its just the starting point," he said. "Erik and Martin have just opened the box on a whole new hacker playground."
275w ago - Accoding to GameViper, Spore has already been cracked and leaked onto the Web. One Web site is reporting that over 10,000 people are downloading the leak on just one public tracker. This all comes just days before the Official release date in North America.
For those unfamiliar with Spore: Maxis, makers of The Sims, present the next big bang - Spore. Create your unique creature and guide it on an epic journey through a universe of your own creations.
To quote: After news of Spore breaking the street date in Australia, we hear that Spore has already been cracked by a group called "RELOADED" despite it's use of SecuROM, the anti-pirating software. (the same one used in BioShock) There are currently over 10,000 people downloading the game on just one public torrent tracker. All this 4 days before the game even comes out in North America.
Direct2Drive is allowing pre-orders of the game for those who want to download Spore legally.