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Amazon EC2 Enables Cheap Brute-Force Attacks 212

Posted by timothy
from the this-gun-for-hire dept.
snydeq writes "German white-hat hacker Thomas Roth claims he can crack WPA-PSK-protected networks in six minutes using Amazon EC2 compute power — an attack that would cost him $1.68. The key? Amazon's new cluster GPU instances. 'GPUs are (depending on the algorithm and the implementation) some hundred times faster compared to standard quad-core CPUs when it comes to brute forcing SHA-1 and MD,' Roth explained. GPU-assisted servers were previously available only in supercomputers and not to the public at large, according to Roth; that's changed with EC2. Among the questions Roth's research raises is, what role should Amazon and other public-cloud service providers play in preventing customers from using their services to commit crimes?"
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Amazon EC2 Enables Cheap Brute-Force Attacks

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  • Offensive (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, 2011 @05:56PM (#34868814)

    From the article:

    "This approach is so easy a grandmother could use it"

    As a 49 yo grandmother, feminist, and C programmer I find that offensive. Why not a grandfather ?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 13, 2011 @05:58PM (#34868860)
    Probably because grandfathers tend not to be bitches.
  • by Applekid (993327) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @06:25PM (#34869204)

    "what role should Amazon and other public-cloud service providers play in preventing customers from using their services to commit crimes?"

    The same role that Ford Motor Company is responsible to fill in preventing the use of it's vehicles as Getaway cars from scenes of crimes.

    Eh, more like the same role that a chauffeur is responsible to fill in preventing the use of it's driven vehicles as getaway cars from scenes of crimes.

    After all, once Ford makes a car they're done, right? EC2 is continually crunching numbers until it's cracked.

  • by ikkonoishi (674762) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @06:29PM (#34869260) Journal

    I hear that Chuck Norris just uses his name as the key. When anyone tries to crack it their computer catches fire.

  • by carrier lost (222597) on Thursday January 13, 2011 @06:49PM (#34869556) Homepage

    ...should Amazon and other public-cloud service providers [be liable for] customers [...] using their services to commit crimes?

    • MPAA/RIAA - If it aids in file-sharing, then Amazon should be charged $6M for each infringement
    • Washington - If it aids in leaking US data, then Amazon should be "extraordinarily rendered"
    • Wall Street - If aids the banks in looting the world's economies, then Amazon should get a $300M bonus.

    Hope this helps...

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