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Anatomy of a hack: How crackers ransack passwords like qeadzcwrsfxv1331 Anatomy of a hack: How crackers ransack passwords like qeadzcwrsfxv1331
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Anatomy of a hack: How crackers ransack passwords like qeadzcwrsfxv1331
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Old 28th May 2013, 07:10   #1
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Default Anatomy of a hack: How crackers ransack passwords like qeadzcwrsfxv1331

While Anderson's 47-percent success rate is impressive, it's miniscule when compared to what real crackers can do, as Anderson himself made clear. To prove the point, we gave them the same list and watched over their shoulders as they tore it to shreds. To put it mildly, they didn't disappoint. Even the least successful cracker of our triowho used the least amount of hardware, devoted only one hour, used a tiny word list, and conducted an interview throughout the processwas able to decipher 62 percent of the passwords. Our top cracker snagged 90 percent of them.

The Ars password team included a developer of cracking software, a security consultant, and an anonymous cracker. The most thorough of the three cracks was carried out by Jeremi Gosney, a password expert with Stricture Consulting Group. Using a commodity computer with a single AMD Radeon 7970 graphics card, it took him 20 hours to crack 14,734 of the hashes, a 90-percent success rate. Jens Steube, the lead developer behind oclHashcat-plus, achieved impressive results as well. (oclHashcat-plus is the freely available password-cracking software both Anderson and all crackers in this article used.) Steube unscrambled 13,486 hashes (82 percent) in a little more than one hour, using a slightly more powerful machine that contained two AMD Radeon 6990 graphics cards. A third cracker who goes by the moniker radix deciphered 62 percent of the hashes using a computer with a single 7970 cardalso in about one hour. And he probably would have cracked more had he not been peppered with questions throughout the exercise.
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