Hardware

Graphics card cracks passwords 25 times faster

Russian company Elcomsoft has released a new version of its flagship Elcomsoft Distributed Password Recovery software that now leverages on GPU hardware acceleration to crack Windows NTLM passwords up to 25 times faster than previously possible using the highest-end desktop PC.

Russian company Elcomsoft has released a new version of its flagship Elcomsoft Distributed Password Recovery software that leverages on GPU hardware acceleration to crack Windows NTLM passwords up to 25 times faster than previously possible using the highest-end desktop PC.

Using a GeForce 8 graphics card via Nvidia's CUDA framework, cracking an eight-character Windows password now takes only three to five days, instead of two months. It is expected that multiple computers can be combined in a cluster to increase the throughput even further.

Excerpt from heise Security:

The Compute Unified Device Architecture (CUDA) framework allows high-performance tasks to be outsourced to the graphics card. In particular, tasks that can be highly parallelized are especially suitable for modern graphics cards like Nvidia's, with its 128 stream processors. GPUs do not handle floating-point calculations as accurately as CPUs, which is why they are not as suitable for such applications as climate modelling, but they are adept at the high precision fixed-point arithmetic that is used in encryption.

You can check out Elcomsoft's press release here. (pdf)

Elcomsoft has announced that it will be incorporating this patent-pending technology into its entire family of enterprise password recovery applications, using up to four separate video cards that are supported by high-end PC motherboards.

Folks, we're not even talking about quantum computing yet. Is there really such a thing as "unbreakable" encryption?

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About

Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.

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