Feeds

GPU-stuffed monster cracks Windows passwords in minutes

That's what you get for using a crap hashing algo

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Security researchers have put together a monster number-crunching rig capable of cracking strong passwords by brute force in minutes.

Jeremi Gosney (aka epixoip) demonstrated a machine running the HashCat password cracking program across a cluster of five servers equipped with 25 AMD Radeon GPUs at the Passwords^12 conference in Oslo, Norway.

Gosney’s system means that even strong passwords protected by weak one-way encryption algorithms, notably the one used in Microsoft's LM and NTLM, are vulnerable.

A 14-character Windows XP password hashed using Lan Manager can be cracked from its hash value in just six minutes. LM splits a 14-character password into two seven-character strings before hashing them, which means it's a good deal less secure than an eight character password hashed with other encryption schemes. Brute forcing an eight-character password would take 5.5 hours, Security Ledger reports.

The attack could be run against leaked password hashes but not login methods directly. Since data breaches are by no means rare, this is not much of a barrier against misuse.

Services such as WPACracker and CloudCracker, a cloud-based platform for penetration testers, have already shown that older encryption algorithms and shorter passwords are hopelessly insecure. Gosney's research further underlines the point. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
Apple's new iPhone 6 vulnerable to last year's TouchID fingerprint hack
But unsophisticated thieves need not attempt this trick
Oracle SHELLSHOCKER - data titan lists unpatchables
Database kingpin lists 32 products that can't be patched (yet) as GNU fixes second vuln
Who.is does the Harlem Shake
Blame it on LOLing XSS terroristas
Researchers tell black hats: 'YOU'RE SOOO PREDICTABLE'
Want to register that domain? We're way ahead of you.
Stunned by Shellshock Bash bug? Patch all you can – or be punished
UK data watchdog rolls up its sleeves, polishes truncheon
Ello? ello? ello?: Facebook challenger in DDoS KNOCKOUT
Gets back up again after half an hour though
SHELLSHOCKED: Fortune 1000 outfits Bash out batches of patches
CloudPassage points to 'pervasive' threat of Bash bug
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.