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Blazing Fast Password Recovery With New ATI Cards 215

An anonymous reader writes "ElcomSoft accelerates the recovery of Wi-Fi passwords and password-protected iPhone and iPod backups by using ATI video cards. The support of ATI Radeon 5000 series video accelerators allows ElcomSoft to perform password recovery up to 20 times faster compared to Intel top of the line quad-core CPUs, and up to two times faster compared to enterprise-level NVIDIA Tesla solutions. Benchmarks performed by ElcomSoft demonstrate that ATI Radeon HD5970 accelerated password recovery works up to 20 times faster than Core i7-960, Intel's current top of the line CPU unit."
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Blazing Fast Password Recovery With New ATI Cards

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  • by ShadowRangerRIT ( 1301549 ) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @11:02AM (#31495872)
    This isn't really about GPUs, it's an advert for ElcomSoft products. The whole summary is in marketing-speak for crying out loud.
  • GPUs (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Thyamine ( 531612 ) <thyamine@ofdragons.ELIOTcom minus poet> on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @11:05AM (#31495946) Homepage Journal
    This isn't the first story about how crazy fast GPUs are for crunching. I know very little about that level of hardware, but why aren't we incorporating these types of things into CPUs? Is the coding/assembly so different that it doesn't translate? Do they only do certain kinds of processing really well (it is a GPU after all), so it couldn't handle other more 'mundane' OS needs?
  • Re:Portrayal (Score:3, Interesting)

    by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @11:12AM (#31496036) Homepage Journal

    You remember that Elcomsoft was the company Dmitry Skylarof was (is?) with? He's the guy who got thrown in a US jail for something he did in Russia that was completely legal in Russia.

  • Out of curiosity... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @11:15AM (#31496086)

    I keep hearing stories about using GPUs for non-GPU computations, but has anybody here tried it?

    What does your screen look like while a program like this is running?

  • Re:GPUs (Score:3, Interesting)

    by imgod2u ( 812837 ) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @11:17AM (#31496122) Homepage

    To some level, CPU's have been moving to be more GPU like for a long time. SIMD (SSE, AltiVec, NEON) are GPU features that made their way to CPU's. Ditto for parallel, long pipelines. Remember the Pentium 4? That was a huge step in the GPU direction.

    There are two problems with that approach:

    1. Code that isn't pure number-crunching doesn't run well on such a compute model.
    2. The model is almost entirely memory-starved. GPU's have up to a GB of high-speed, dedicated RAM on the card itself. CPU's have to live with high-density (relatively) slot-loaded memory.

    AMD is moving in a direction where the GPU compute parts are fed by the CPU front-end. As we move forward, I suspect we'll see more of a "fusion" if you will (don't sue me) of the two compute models.

  • Re:GPUs (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ShadowRangerRIT ( 1301549 ) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @11:40AM (#31496442)
    That's not really the same thing. The Intel 80 core prototype was still a CPU at heart, they just made improvements to communication. GPUs are quite different. GPUs are designed as primarily floating point processors (though newer ones can do low precision integer math with similar efficiency), but more importantly, they are vector processors with virtually no support for conditional statements and optimized for sequential access to memory instead of random access. They're halfway between dedicated circuitry and a general purpose CPU; what they can do, they do *very* well, and they can generalize a little, but tasks they weren't designed for need to be rewritten to accommodate their quirks, and eventually reach a point of diminishing returns. Integrating GPUs into the CPU will allow more programs to use it (and possibly speed processing and enable new scenarios where the CPU and GPU need to communicate frequently), but for run of the mill computing tasks, the relatively inflexible design of GPUs is a problem.
  • by Sir_Sri ( 199544 ) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @11:50AM (#31496674)

    And a bit of an and underhanded advert for ATI. 'Password recovery' is an inherently parallel problem that really likes the sort of math gpus do, and not so much the sort CPU's do. The ATI 5000 series are the fastest GPU's available at retail right now, doesn't take a genius to put 2 and 2 together here. Anyone who knows anything about NVIDIA's workstation parts knows they are not radical departures from their current retail chips so saying your new fancy retail part is twice as fast as the workstation version of the other guys last gen part is stating the obvious.

  • by Lord Ender ( 156273 ) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @02:57PM (#31499672) Homepage

    As an IT security guy, I found this to be informative, actually. When analyzing the security of a system or organization, I need to know not just what is theoretically possible, but what can be done with already-existing software and hardware.

    This article gives me some idea as to what attacks are currently practical (and for what key lengths).

    When research or engineering achievements come from the commercial (rather than academic) sector, it isn't really reasonable to expect an academic tone. They're tooting their own horn, but they are doing it about something important.

  • Re:Portrayal (Score:2, Interesting)

    by tirnacopu ( 732831 ) on Tuesday March 16, 2010 @05:24PM (#31501626)
    I did this kind of purchase at one time, for a perfectly valid reason. A rogue accountant deleted company data to cover his ass, but was keeping encrypted backups before that. I could undelete several archives, but they were .ace unfortunately, and there are no solutions I am aware of to at least brute-force it (their decompression .dll crashes randomly). If, at the time, someone would have told me that a Radeon card can increase my chances of recovery, I would have bought ten of them instantly.

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