14-Character Windows XP Passwords Hacked in Just 6 Minutes

High-performance hardware configurations makes password cracking piece of cake

By on December 6th, 2012 08:32 GMT

Encryption methods and security technologies are clearly evolving at a pretty fast pace, but together with these, hackers roll out a new wave of attacks and exploits supposed to break into every single system out there.

A quick test during a presentation at the Passwords^12 Conference in Oslo, Norway showed that a 14-character Windows XP password could be hacked in just six minutes using top-notch hardware.

According to The Security Ledger, researcher Jeremi Gosney has managed to set up a pretty unique configuration to run the HashCat password cracking tool, with five 4U servers based on 25 AMD Radeon GPUs and communicating at 10 Gbps over Infiniband switched fabric.

Preliminary results are at least breathtaking: the system scanned 348 billion NTLM password hashes per second, which means that a 14-character Windows XP password would be revealed in six minutes.

“Passwords on Windows XP? Not good enough anymore,” event organizer Per Thorsheim said.

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