Swiss researchers have cracked a message encrypted with Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) in less than one hour. They monitored a connection as passwords were sent to an IMAP server for email.

Experts point out that this SSL is not the same version used to encrypt transactional information for Internet e-commerce, but SSL was widely considered to be robust before this demonstration.

The research team discovered small amounts of information each time the client and the server communicated. It took 160 attempts to gain enough information to determine the password.