27 Jul 2016
A password cracking specialist has built a beast of a computer that has the ability to attempt upwards of 350 billion passwords a second. For those of you keeping count, this means it can guess every possible Windows password within six hours.
The Linux-based machine has five servers and utilizes the Virtual OpenCL cluster platform in order to be powered by 25 AMD Radeon Graphics cards. All of this muscle allows it not only to run through brute force attacks guessing every possible combination of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols, it can cycle through various other techniques including dictionary attacks containing words and phrases.
While the speeds this machine is clocking only applies to passwords hashed with “fast” algorithms and offline attacks, as most websites only allow a limited number of attempts, this is yet another reminder of how important good password habits are. Since most passwords are created using these algorithms, it’s recommend you use at least 21 characters plus special characters. Never use names, words, or common phrases. And change them as often, every 30-60 days if possible.