TLS/SSL protocols support a large number of cipher suites. A cipher suite is a collection of symmetric and asymmetric encryption algorithms used by hosts to establish a secure communication. Supported cipher suites can be classified based on encryption algorithm strength, key length, key exchange and authentication mechanisms. Some cipher suites offer better level of security than others (e.g. Several weak cipher suites were developed for export to comply with US export law). There are more than 200 known cipher suites. Read more.
The field of password cracking has evolved by leaps an bounds over the last decade with the introduction of new cracking techniques, more advanced software and significantly faster hardware. One area which I find most fascinating is rule-based cracking. An attacker can develop a set of word mangling rules (e.g. substitute all 'a's to '@'s, upper-case every third letter, etc.) in order to attack non-random passwords which use slightly modified dictionary words. The purpose of this research is to develop an automated method of analyzing a large body of leaked passwords in order to come up with a list of frequently used words and rules to make up passwords. Read more.