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Why Hacked Blizzard Passwords Aren't As Hard To Crack As Company Says

Arstechnica- The silver lining in Thursday's news that hackers extracted significant user information from online gaming empire Blizzard was that passwords were protected by an encryption scheme the company said is "extremely difficult" to crack. We reported that the use of cryptographic "salts" made it "extremely unlikely" that plaintext passwords could be derived from the cryptographic hashes. Security researchers, including those at Sophos and Intego, agreed.

But other researchers warned that Blizzard's advisory overstates the case and may give users a false sense of security. The researchers noted that the Secure Remote Password protocol used to convert plaintext into cryptographic hashes is a decade-old scheme that is focused on protecting passwords as they traverse the Internet, rather than when they're "at rest"—that is, when they're stored in a database on a website server.

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