from the who-has-the-time-to-oh-wait dept.
cce writes "The MicroID standard, despite getting thrashed soundly by Ben Laurie two years ago, has since been recommended by the DataPortability Project and published on the user profiles of millions of users at Digg and Last.fm. MicroID is basically a hash calculated using a user's profile page URL and registered email address, producing a token that makes the email address vulnerable to dictionary attacks.
To see how easy it was to crack these tokens, I conducted a small study, choosing 56,775 random Digg users, and cracking the email addresses of 14,294 of them (25%) using just their MicroID, username, and a list of popular email domains. Digg has more than 2 million users, and that means half a million of them — mostly people who had never heard of MicroID, and had probably not logged in for a long time — had their email addresses exposed to this trivial attack. I also applied this attack to Last.fm (19%) and ClaimID (34%).
Digg and Last.fm have since removed support for MicroID, but the lesson is clear: don't publish a hash of my email address online, guys!"
egrep patterns are full regular expressions; it uses a fast deterministic
algorithm that sometimes needs exponential space.
-- unix manuals