This beast cycles about 350 billion guesses per second and it could use a new virtualization software that gets juice from 25 GPUs (AMD Radeon graphics card). The 64 bit Linux-based GPU cluster runs the Virtual OpenCL cluster platform that allows these graphics cards to work as if they are on a single computer.
Ars Technica writes that this cluster touches the 350 billion-guess-per-second speed while cracking password hashes generated by the NTLM cryptographic algorithm, that Microsoft uses in Windows operating systems.
This means, the cluster can try n mammoth 958 password combinations in just 5.5 hours. This amazing set of tries is enough to brute force every possible 8-character password that can contain digits, upper and lower case letters, and symbols.
The Virtual OpenCL cluster platform works along with ocl-Hashcat Plus- a free password-cracking tool. The cluster isn’t limited to brute force attacks and it deploys other techniques like dictionary attacks to crack every possible password combination.
Jeremi M Gosney, Founder and CEO of Stricture Consulting Group tells Ars, “before VCL people were trying lots of different things to varying degrees of success.”
He adds, “VCL put an end to all of this, because now we have a generic solution that works right out of the box, and handles all of that complexity for you automatically. It’s also really easy to manage because all of your compute nodes only have to have VCL installed, nothing else. You only have your software installed on the cluster controller.”
This beast was created using:
- Five 4U servers
- 25 AMD Radeon GPUs
- 10x HD 7970
- 4x HD 5970 (dual GPU)
- 3x HD 6990 (dual GPU)
- 1x HD 5870
- 4x SDR Infiniband interconnect
- 7kW of electricity
Take a look at the complete presentation below to know more about this ultimate password-cracking beast.
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