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Passwords Quickly Hacked With PC Graphics Cards




Passwords Quickly Hacked With PC Graphics Cards
Passwords Quickly Hacked With PC Graphics Cards



http://www.informationweek.com/news/security/vulnerabilities/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=226700303 

By Mathew J. Schwartz
InformationWeek
August 16, 2010

Passwords with fewer than 12 characters can be quickly brute-force 
decoded using a PC graphics processing unit (GPU) that costs just a few 
hundred dollars, according to researchers at the Georgia Institute of 
Technology.

"We've been using a commonly available graphics processor to test the 
integrity of typical passwords of the kind in use here at Georgia Tech 
and many other places," said Richard Boyd, a senior research scientist 
at the university's research institute, in a statement. "Right now we 
can confidently say that a seven-character password is hopelessly 
inadequate."

Today's top graphics processors offer about two teraflops of parallel 
processing power. For comparison, "in the year 2000, the world's fastest 
supercomputer, a cluster of linked machines costing $110 million, 
operated at slightly more than 7 teraflops," he said.

The barrier to using multi-core graphics processors -- available from 
Nvidia or AMD's ATI division -- for compute-intensive processes other 
than graphics processing, said Boyd, first fell in 2007, when Nvidia 
released a C-based software development kit. "Once Nvidia did that, 
interest in GPUs really started taking off," he said. "If you can write 
a C program, you can program a GPU now." Or use it to crack a password.

[...]


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