Feeds

Developer deploys graphics cards to accelerate password cracks

Magic words uncovered in 3-5 days, down from two months

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

Nvidia's GeForce 8 series of graphics chips can be used to crack Windows NT LAN Manager (NTLM) passwords 25 times more quickly than was previously possible, security software developer Elcomsoft has claimed.

The Russia-based company this week announced the second major release of its Distributed Password Recovery application, a tool designed to recover forgotten or lost passwords for a wide range of application and document types, including PDP-protected ZIP files, Adobe Acrobat PDFs, Lotus Notes ID files and Microsoft Office documents.

Elcomsoft admits its software uses "brute force" to crack a file's password, thus exposing the lost key to the user. The technique essentially tries all possible password combinations until it finds the one that fits. It works, but it's time time-consuming.

"Using a modern dual-core PC you could test up to 10m passwords per second," Elcomsoft said, "and perform a complete analysis in two months."

But use a GeForce 8 series card and Nvidia's Compute Unified Device Architecture (CUDA) tools to run the cracking algorithms on the GPU rather than the CPU, and you can finish up in 3-5 days, the developer claimed.

"Since high-end PC mother boards can work with four separate video cards, the future is bright for even faster password recovery applications," it added.

CUDA was launched almost a year ago to enable scientists and engineers to use graphics cards typically aimed at gamers for more serious number-crunching applications. The GeForce 8 series of GPUs went on sale in March 2007.

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.