Hacker Group L0pht Making A Comeback


L0pht has been a staple of the hacking scene since the Internet existed, with the ever fabulous L0phtcrack being their best known offering.

Of course when that was sold off to Symantec then subsequently discontinued, things changed a lot.

Well now the Hacker News Network is back online, one of the side projects of L0pht Heavy Industries – yes www.l0pht.com is back online too.

Hacker News Network is one of the side projects of the Boston-based hacker collective known as L0pht Heavy Industries. They’re the guys who famously told the U.S. Congress that they could take down the Internet in about 30 minutes, and who helped invent the way that security bugs are reported to computer companies.

The L0pht’s eight members were hacker gods back in the ’90s, but most of them have faded from the limelight, even as they’ve watched a cottage industry of security research firms sprout up based on many of the disclosure techniques they pioneered. The L0pht disbanded after it sold out to consultancy @stake in 2000, and its members gradually watched their dream of being paid to do cutting-edge hacking and security research wither and die.

But over the past few months, the L0pht has been getting back together, kind of.

Unsurprisingly it was being swallowed by a corporate that drove them apart, different people having differing opinions on what they should be doing..plus of course politics.

And the main reason as they state, is it stopped being fun. Only one of the crew remains at Symantec (Paul Nash aka Silicosis).

Thankfully they have put their differences behind them and I hope to see some good things come out of L0pht once again.

Six of the eight members reunited last year at a Boston security conference, and in May 2009, members of the group released the first update to their L0phtCrack password audit tool since 2005. They say it took a few years of negotiations with Symantec — which bought @stake in 2004 — to get back control of L0phtCrack and several other L0pht properties.

Last month the L0pht Web site went back online, and the demo version of Hacker News Network is set for an official launch on Jan. 11, 2010. (Chosen because the date 01-11-10 works as a binary number.)

The L0pht Web site will give members a single place to link to their current projects. Peiter Zatko, aka Mudge, says he’d like to use it as an archive of the group’s historic security advisories.

More projects may evolve. The group acquired the rights to its AntiSniff network monitoring tool from Symantec and is toying with the idea of reviving that as well.

I can’t wait to see what new techniques and technologies they can put into L0phtcrack and bring it back up to date. Because in it’s day it was simply THE best password cracker on the market by far.

Antisniff is a neat tool too and it would be good to see that revived and revamped.

I hope to see good times ahead from L0pht and will be watching what they are up to.

Source: Network World

Posted in: Hacking News

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