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ElcomSoft Claims 1 Billion Passwords/Sec Recovery; Uses GPUs in Parallel

ElcomSoft has released a new version its Distributed Password Recovery program for recovering system and document passwords at speeds of up to 1 billion passwords per second. Among the passwords the software can recover are system passwords such as NTLM (Windows logon passwords) and startup passwords, MD5 hashes, password-protected documents created by Microsoft Office 97-2007, PDF files created by Adobe Acrobat, as well as PGP, UNIX, and Oracle.

What's interesting about the ElcomSoft approach is that the company is using multiple GPU-based video cards such as NVIDIA's GeForce GTX280 in parallel to process hundreds of billions fixed-point calculations per second. This means, says ElcomSoft, that this release of the Distributed Password Recovery program can try around 5,000 passwords per second for Office 2007 documents with a single GeForce GTX260, while regular Core2Duo processors can only try up to 200 passwords per second.

ElcomSoft claims that all users have to do is insert into a PC video cards (like the GeForce GTX280) to take advantage of the capabilities. Unlike NVIDIA SLI mode (Scan Line Interleaving) that enables transparent use of multiple GPUs, ElcomSoft uses the computational power of several NVIDIA cards no matter if they are of the same kind. Currently supporting all GeForce 8 and GeForce 9 boards, the acceleration technology offloads parts of computational-heavy processing onto the fast and highly scalable processors featured in the NVIDIA's graphic accelerators.

The acceleration technology developed by ElcomSoft allows the execution of mathematically intensive password recovery code on the massively parallel computational elements found in NVIDIA graphic accelerators. The GPU acceleration is unique to Elcomsoft Distributed Password Recovery, making password recovery up to 50 times faster compared to password recovery methods that only use the computer's main CPU.

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