You know all that talk about GPUs being the new CPUs? Well it's not just a lot of hot, ventilated air. Thanks in large part to the launch of development kits like nVidia's CUDA, Russian outfit Elcomsoft has just filed for a US patent which leverages GPUs to crack passwords. Their approach harnesses the massively parallel processing capabilities of modern graphics cards to make minced-meat of corporate-strength password protection. An NTLM-hashed Microsoft Vista password, for example, can now be cracked in 3 to 5 days (instead of two months) using a simple, off-the-shelf, $150 graphics card -- less complicated passwords can take just minutes. Dial the GPU up to an $800 GeForce 8800 Ultra and Elcomsoft's approach will crack passwords at a rate some 25 times faster than existing CPU-only approaches. Yippee?

[Via NewScientist, thanks Sultan]

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