...crack Windows NTLM passwords up to 25 times faster
It is well recognised that graphics processors (GPUs) have a far greater theoretical performance than current CPUs. Now, Elcomsoft has proved in version 2.0 of its Distributed Password Recovery (DPR) how GeForce-8 cards can be used to crack Windows NTLM passwords up to 25 times faster than previously thought possible. Cracking an eight-character Windows password now only takes three to five days, instead of two months. Furthermore, multiple computers can be combined in a cluster to increase the throughput even further. Elcomsoft plans to patent the software it has developed for this purpose.
The Compute Unified Device Architecture (CUDA) framework allows high-performance tasks to be outsourced to the graphics card. In particular, tasks that can be highly parallelized are especially suitable for modern graphics cards like Nvidia's, with its 128 stream processors. GPUs do not handle floating-point calculations as accurately as CPUs, which is why they are not as suitable for such applications as climate modelling, but they are adept at the high precision fixed-point arithmetic that is used in encryption. (Heise.co.uk)