Feeds

GPU-stuffed monster cracks Windows passwords in minutes

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

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

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. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
'Kim Kardashian snaps naked selfies with a BLACKBERRY'. *Twitterati gasps*
More alleged private, nude celeb pics appear online
Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers
Step One: try default passwords. Step Two: Repeat Step One until success
UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares
Senior Lib Dem in 'trying to be relevant' shocker. It's only taxpayers' money, after all
Spies would need SUPER POWERS to tap undersea cables
Why mess with armoured 10kV cables when land-based, and legal, snoop tools are easier?
TOR users become FBI's No.1 hacking target after legal power grab
Be afeared, me hearties, these scoundrels be spying our signals
Snowden, Dotcom, throw bombs into NZ election campaign
Claim of tapped undersea cable refuted by Kiwi PM as Kim claims extradition plot
Freenode IRC users told to change passwords after securo-breach
Miscreants probably got in, you guys know the drill by now
THREE QUARTERS of Android mobes open to web page spy bug
Metasploit module gobbles KitKat SOP slop
BitTorrent's peer-to-peer chat app Bleep goes live as public alpha
A good day for privacy as invisble.im also reveals its approach to untraceable chats
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
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.