GPU is brilliant tool for password cracking

While many are touting the GPU as brilliant for supercomputing, it seems that one bloke is suggesting they are really good for bruteforce guessing Windows passwords.

Writing in his bog , Vijay Devakumar, from Chennai, India, said that while GPUs were used only for getting graphical output, rendering frames in games and other purposes related to graphics, people are now realising that GPUs are far more efficient at handling highly parallel tasks. But the difficulty is working out a good way to code graphic cards.

There is a natty free password hash cracker called ighashgpu which was developed by Ivan Golubev.

Devakumar used his Radeon 5770 to crack passwords really quickly. He demonstrates hacking a Windows logon passwords.

He does a comparison with another popular and free security tool Cain & Abel which uses the CPU.

A password with five characters took Cain 24 seconds to crack the password at the rate of 9.8 million passwords/sec. But ighashgpu found it in less than one second it tried 3.334 billion passwords before hitting the right one.

A password with six characters took Cain 1 hour and 30 minutes to crack. Ighashgpu found it in 4 seconds. A seven character password, which took Cain four days was solved in 17 minutes and 30 seconds by Ighashgpu.

Devakumar decided to give the GPU a real challenge and crack a password which was nine characters long. In theory Cain would have taken 43 years to work it out. Ighashgpu took 48 days.

Devakumar said that his Radeon 5770 is not the fastest card around but packs way more punch than a traditional CPU. It also looks like Radeon cards are better at it than their Nvidia counterparts especially when it comes to password brute forcing and the latest Radeon 6990 graphic card should be several times faster than a Radeon 5770.