Feeds

Developer deploys graphics cards to accelerate password cracks

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

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

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.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Ice cream headache as black hat hacks sack Dairy Queen
I scream, you scream, we all scream 'DATA BREACH'!
Goog says patch⁵⁰ your Chrome
64-bit browser loads cat vids FIFTEEN PERCENT faster!
NIST to sysadmins: clean up your SSH mess
Too many keys, too badly managed
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
Researchers camouflage haxxor traps with fake application traffic
Honeypots sweetened to resemble actual workloads, complete with 'secure' logins
Attack flogged through shiny-clicky social media buttons
66,000 users popped by malicious Flash fudging add-on
New Snowden leak: How NSA shared 850-billion-plus metadata records
'Federated search' spaffed info all over Five Eyes chums
Three quarters of South Korea popped in online gaming raids
Records used to plunder game items, sold off to low lifes
Oz fed police in PDF redaction SNAFU
Give us your metadata, we'll publish your data
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
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.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.