Until today, the creators of the hacked AshleyMadison.com infidelity website appeared to have done at least one thing well: protect user passwords with a strong hashing algorithm. That belief, however, was painfully disproved by a group of hobbyist password crackers.
The 16-man team, called CynoSure Prime, sifted through the Ashley Madison source code that was posted online by hackers and found a major error in how passwords were handled on the website.
They claim that this allowed them to crack over 11 million of the 36 million password hashes stored in the website’s database, which has also been leaked.
A few weeks ago such a feat seemed impossible because security experts quickly observed from the leaked data that Ashley Madison stored passwords in hashed form — a common security practice — using a cryptographic function called bcrypt.
Original URL: http://www.computerworld.com/article/2982959/cybercrime-hacking/ashley-madison-coding-blunder-made-11m-passwords-easy-to-crack.html#tk.rss_all