Got leftover GPUs? Why not crack some passwords?

Researcher Jeremi Gosney has used five servers, 25 Radeon GPUs, Infiniband and Virtual OpenCL to crack passwords at a scary rate.

What do you do with five 4U servers, 25 Radeon GPUs and Virtual Open Computing Language? Crack passwords, naturally.

Just one of the 4U servers. (Credit: Jeremi Gosney)

As reported by The Security Ledger, researcher Jeremi Gosney created the cracking monster that's able to brute force a Windows XP (LM) password in six minutes.

While other password hashes take longer to crack, it's proof that the password, by itself, is not secure. Using the current set-up, the system should be scalable to "at least 128 AMD GPUs".

The password cracking monster versus various password hashes. (Credit: Jeremi Gosney)
(Credit: Jeremi Gosney)

Bandwidth isn't an issue, with brute force methods "consistently [using]

Jeremi presented all of this at the Passwords^12 Conference in Norway — for those interested in more detail, his slides can be found here (PDF).

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About the author

Craig was sucked into the endless vortex of tech at an early age, only to be spat back out babbling things like "phase-locked-loop crystal oscillators!". Mostly this receives a pat on the head from the listener, followed closely by a question about what laptop they should buy.

 

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