Developer deploys graphics cards to accelerate password cracks

Nvidia's GeForce 8 series of graphics chips can be used to crack
Windows NT LAN Manager (NTLM) passwords 25 times more quickly than was
previously possible, security software developer Elcomsoft has claimed.

The Russia-based company this week announced the second major
release of its Distributed Password Recovery application, a tool
designed to recover forgotten or lost passwords for a wide range of
application and document types, including PDP-protected ZIP files,
Adobe Acrobat PDFs, Lotus Notes ID files and Microsoft Office documents.

document.write('\x3Cscript src=”http://ad.uk.doubleclick.net/adj/reg.security.4159/enterprise;'+RegExCats+GetVCs()+'pid='+RegId+';'+RegKW+'maid='+maid+';test='+test+';pf='+RegPF+';dcove=d;sz=336×280;tile=3;ord=' + rand + '?” type=”text/javascript”>\x3C\/script>');

Elcomsoft admits its software uses “brute force” to crack a file's
password, thus exposing the lost key to the user. The technique
essentially tries all possible password combinations until it finds the
one that fits. It works, but it's time time-consuming.

“Using a modern dual-core PC you could test up to 10m passwords per
second,” Elcomsoft said, “and perform a complete analysis in two
months.”

But use a GeForce 8 series card and Nvidia's Compute Unified Device
Architecture (CUDA) tools to run the cracking algorithms on the GPU
rather than the CPU, and you can finish up in 3-5 days, the developer
claimed.

“Since high-end PC mother boards can work with four separate video
cards, the future is bright for even faster password recovery
applications,” it added.

CUDA was launched
almost a year ago to enable scientists and engineers to use graphics
cards typically aimed at gamers for more serious number-crunching
applications. The GeForce 8 series of GPUs went on sale in March 2007.

From The Register.

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US military gets secure smartphone

Finally, there's a phone plan that allows you to switch from
the US government's Secret Internet Protocol Router Network to the
unclassified Internet Protocol Router Network with a single keystroke.

The US National Security Agency has authorised military and government
personnel to order General Dynamics' Sectera Edge secure, wireless
smartphones, which will not only allow them to make secure calls but
also to e-mail and Web browse in either classified or unclassified
mode.

The phones will still operate using the existing GSM, CDMA and commercial Wi-Fi networks.

Sweet… I know a few folks that will happy to not have to carry two phones anymore.  Real the full article on ZDNet Australia (why is the Australian ZDNet covering this?).

Why gangsters love their BlackBerrys

Police often say that organized crime in B.C. is big business.

So
perhaps it was only a matter of time before gangsters here adopted the
device of choice among corporate workaholics: the BlackBerry.

The
device has become so popular among B.C. gang members that an internal
RCMP “threat assessment” on organized crime produced this year devotes
an entire section to the device.

“Every message that is sent via a BlackBerry is broken up into 2Kb
[kilobyte] packets of information, each of which is given a 256-bit key
by the BlackBerry server,” said Totzke. “That means to release the
contents of a 10Kb e-mail, a person would have to crack five separate
keys, and each one would take about as long as it would for the sun to
burn out — billion of years.”

Read the full article.