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Elcomsoft Password Cracker goes Ballistic; worries security experts

Back in October 2007, Elcomsoft, a Russian company which specialises in Password Breaking, came up with a technique that allows powerful Nvidia Graphic Processor Units to be used to uncover passwords in record time.

Now, they have added Multiprocessor and Multicore support to their Distributed Password Recovery software which can spread the load of cracking passwords across a network of up to 2500 computers (that's up to 10000 processors and 40000 cores); in addition the application also supports the Nvidia GPU acceleration which can improve password recovery time by up to 70x (see picture below) - and that was based on a single last generation Geforce 8800GTX.

The EDPR runs on Windows platform only and the starting price of the 20-client version is only £499 and can recover passwords from Microsoft Office documents, Microsoft Money and OneNote, Adobe Acrobat PDF files, PKCS#12 certificates, LM/NTLM hashes used in Windows NT/2000/XP/2003/Vista/2008 logon passwords, PGP, Lotus Notes ID files, MD5 hashes, and UNIX and Oracle users' passwords and many more.

The implications are chilling for security experts, as you can get a dual core laptop with a Geforce 8800GTX laptop for less than £1250 and which can be used as a mobile cracking device.

Already, others have been using the even more powerful Playstation 3 Gaming console as a password cracking platform. You can read more about EDPR here (opens in new tab).

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.