Infosec: PGP complaint forces ElcomSoft climbdown on security claims

It isn't the best marketing proposition to sell encryption products next door to a fellow exhibitor who promises they can crack them.

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It isn't the best marketing proposition to sell encryption products next door to a fellow exhibitor who promises they can crack them.

But that's what happened on the opening day of the Infosec conference on Tuesday, with encryption company PGP positioned about 10 feet away from ElcomSoft, a Russian company that makes password recovery software.

Posters on ElcomSoft's stand reading "The Only Way to Break PGP" was ripped down by Infosec conference organizers after complaints from PGP's marketing team just before the show opened.

ElcomSoft posted photos of the take-down on its blog, charging that Reed Exhibitions, Infosec's organizer, was vague about its reasons for removing the poster.

ElcomSoft picked a spot on the conference floor close to PGP intentionally. Since yesterday , the row has been dismissed as a misunderstanding -- but one in which neither side is backing down.

"We didn't say anything wrong," said Vladimir Katalov, ElcomSoft's chief executive, who is in London for Infosec. "We are not lying about what we are doing."

ElcomSoft specializes in software that can crack unknown passwords for a variety of software programs made by vendors such as Microsoft, Adobe Systems, IBM and others. The software is intended for administrators to recover lost passwords and would be illegal to use without proper permission.

ElcomSoft products employ off-the-shelf video cards from Nvidia to figure out the passwords, taking advantage of those chips' parallel processing capabilities to calculate passwords much faster than desktop processors can.

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