September 27, 2022

The new NVIDIA Ge-force RTX 3090 is a powerhouse for gaming, but that’s not all it can do. The RTX 3090 is also good for brute-forced passwords, according to the developers of the popular password recovery program. That’s awesome if you forget an important password, but that’s probably not why people use those apps. The new Nvidia cards could make cracking somebody else’s files almost trivially easy.

The Best RTX 3090 with a GA102 graphics processor featuring 10,496 cores and 24 GB of GDDR6X memory is NVIDIA’s new top-of-the-line GPU. By today’s gaming standards, it is monstrously, obscenely heavy, and comes with a correspondingly high price of $1,500, give or take a few hundred, depending on availability. GPUs are also perfect for parallel computation, with an emphasis on high core numbers. That’s why for several months, when Bitcoin was at its height, you couldn’t even buy a GPU.

Recently, Passcovery has been modified to include support for RTX cards like the 3090, and the speed of brute force attacks has improved significantly. In the past, before you reached the right one, it wasn’t realistic to guess any possible password. Computers were just not quick enough. However in some cases, a GPU can do so easily enough to find passwords. A fairly modest GTX 1060 can go from 3.4 million guesses per second to 669 million per second with v20.09 of the Passcovery suite. Support for RTX 3000 series cards has been introduced to this version of the app, which may be an issue with your poor passwords. In the GPU computing benchmarks, the RTX 3090 is almost seven times faster than the 1060, which is a lot of guesses per second.

This research was carried out on a classically encrypted ZIP file, but with ample time and power, brute force is a danger to any encrypted file. A password that we might have considered “strong” a few years ago might crash in no time under the assault of a 3090. Actually, these GPUs are very costly, but rates will go down and make attacks by brute force more common, and that’s a problem. This is only one “recovery” password suite, and more will probably add support for the newest Nvidia cards in the future.

We’ve reached the point where if you have any hope of keeping it secret, something valuable enough to be encrypted needs to be guarded with a very very strong password. To create random strings for passwords, you should always use a generator. Programs such as Passcovery are designed to grind away on local encrypted files, so in the age of GPU password cracking, keeping those files out of nefarious hands is also a crucial part of protection.