PAM is a bitch
So I’ve been gone for over a month, and I assumed that no one reads this shit that I post. Apparently, I’m wrong. I get something like 40 views a day. So anyway about PAM, it’s a bitch. If you don’t know what PAM is go here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pluggable_Authentication_Modules Pretty much it’s an overly complicated way to make sure users are authenticated. I don’t really know why we need it, we have Shadow. Pretty much it solves the problem of having your password hashes in /etc/passwd which is readable by everyone. Having your password hashes readable by everyone is bad news waiting to happen. So /etc/shadow is root only readable, which makes it pointless to crack since you could just change the hash to something known. Which leads me to what I did or was attempting to do. I was trying to change PAM to use BlowFish instead of salted MD5 for password hashes. Why use a cryptographically weaker algorithm you ask? Simple BlowFish takes a really fucking long time when you switch keys. Which means brute forcing, making a rainbow table, or dictionary attack is pretty much impossible unless you use a password like “lol”. So john the ripper on my computer can crack my salted MD5s at a rate of about 2000 per second. Thats pretty good but I could speed that up by salting a rainbow table and hashing it to revel the true hash (I’m pretty sure that would work and this time the key rate should be in the 100,000’s). Now BlowFish runs at the slow ass pace or about 100 keys a second. That’s really slow. So I embarked on this adventure and thought I had it. All I did was make all the text that I type in disappear. I was pretty sure I locked myself out so I packed up and went to the lab. When I got there, i typed in exit and logged out. I logged into root with out seeing anything and lo and behold I could see my text again. So I just reverted my files and I’m back.
On a totally unrelated note, where I may or may not have given a presentation, if you put your wireless card into a cretin mode, you might be able to see some possibly interesting networks and traffic or it could do jack shit.