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I'll start with saying that you're right, eventually brute force would crack any encryption scheme. The eventually could be millions of years in the future though, depending on the complexity of the encryption key, the strength of the encryption, etc. There are actually a few defenses against offline attempts to crack a password file that are generally ...


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The issue is that there's no reason an attacker has to use YOUR program to perform the decryption. In fact, for increased speed, attackers almost always write custom programs to brute force, not the original program used to encrypt. They can do this because virtually all reputable encryption programs, even proprietary ones, use established and widely known ...


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The only defense you can have on a locally encrypted file is the strength of the password used to encrypt it. Also, using a secure encryption algorithm is important (AES is pretty standard right now). You are absolutely correct that brute-force cracking is 100% successful. The problem lies in the amount of time it takes to crack a password. A secure ...


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If the file is retrieved from the filesystem to the attacker's system, there is no longer any gateway. The brute force can continue without any impediment. More complex keys or passwords do increase the time/cost of brute forcing, but 'eventually' (hopefully before the heat death of the universe), it could be cracked.


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The techniques are the same of random, untargeted attacks. What IMHO really differentiate these kind of attacks are: available time available money to buy undisclosed exploit effort spent attacked attack surface post-exploitation works Generally with a random, untargeted attacks: its effort in terms of time will be limited mostly to a single ...


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Another angle I haven't found in the answers. http://lasec.epfl.ch/keyboard/ We found 4 different ways (including the Kuhn attack) to fully or partially recover keystrokes from wired keyboards at a distance up to 20 meters, even through walls. We tested 12 different wired and wireless keyboard models bought between 2001 and 2008 (PS/2, USB and laptop). ...


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I will just answer in a quote from Jacob Appelbaum, about whom I probably don't have to talk. During the first Congress on Privacy & Surveillance held at EPFL in Switzerland, Applebaum said (I am transcribing): "If the NSA wants to get into any machine or system in the world, we must assume that they are in."


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To keep it as short and sweet as possible: (though I can add detail later if the community demands) Random attacks Generally target a specific vulnerability in a specific version of a specific software. The goal here is to try it against every machine possible and not every machine will have the vulnerability, and IDS/IPS solutions will not let the same ...


4

"Hacking" is easy. There are tools out there that'll provide a beautiful GUI for you to run any one of a library of exploits, tools that'll break into WiFi, run MiTM, etc. This, along with clumsy, generalized attempts at phishing and other social engineering, makes up a large part of non-targeted attacks. In short, they're unoriginal. This means that most ...


3

FWs, antivirus and other defenses geared around prevention can only effectively block attacks that are proven bad. IE if a certain type of traffic or a certain file is bad 100% of the time, it can effectively be blocked. While prevention tools may not help with more advanced threats, they have a use in blocking known bad traffic. There's a lot of bad ...


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Disclaimer: I work at a company developing security software to mitigate against targeted attacks. Some of the methods we use are similar to those used by attackers (when clients want to test their systems). For example, one client asked us to test their security by doing targeted [spear] phishing attacks. We emailed only the IT department with a ...


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It is technically possible to put enough controls in place to guarantee you won't be compromised from a IT perspective. The extreme case is to shut off and remove all computer equipment. See? No computers means no computers will be compromised. OK, so how about we allow computers, but no networks: everything air-gapped. We're not guaranteed invulnerable, ...


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The difference between a random attack and a targeted attack can be summarized nicely: The attacker want N number of remote nodes for DDoSing / Spamming / Phishing / etc. or The attacker wants XYZ data on user2174870's machine specifically. If the attacker is just looking to build a botnet (>>99% of attacks) then simply being harder to crack than the ...


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Usually the most annoying place to try penetrating is a completely custom system on a completely custom kernel (no familiar commands, io paradigms, process management infrastructure, etc. -- these things exist in some form, of course, but only on the one system/target and you have no insight). Lucky for penetrators there are very few of those in the wild. ...


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It would be totally different if you are targeted by state sponsored actors. If you are a high value target, they can employ not just hacking resources like zero-day malware, but also video surveillance, wire-tapping, bribing your friends, email spear phishing, keylogging, breaking into your house, or even kidnapping and torturing you just to obtain some ...


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All of security can be boiled down to threat modeling, risk assessment, risk management, and risk mitigation. So no, defenses designed to protect against non-targeted attacks are not likely to do well against targeted attacks. What makes a targeted attacker (or what you call a "professional attacker") different? Simply the intelligence and money they're ...



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