Skip to main content

Hackers Use Nvidia GPUs to Crack WiFi

Most people grumble and complain about the high cost of top end GPUs. Now it appears that these GPUs are cost-effective ways to breach wireless network encryption.

Russian Hackers reportedly broke through WPA and WPA2 encryption using a brute force attack coupled with Nvidia’s GPUs. With no mention of which specific card was used in the discovery, the card supposedly increased password recovery up to 10,000 percent faster. Reports at this time are quite vague on the details, but if the claims hold any water at all, security experts could have a serious issue on their hands.

Commenting on the issue, David Hobson, managing director of Global Secure Systems (GSS) claimed that companies can no longer view standards-based WiFi transmissions as sufficiently secure against eavesdropping to be used with impunity. He also added that the use of VPNs is arguably now mandatory for companies wanting to comply with the Data Protection Act.

The problem here is that most VPNs also use AES encryption which is the same encryption that is employed by WPA2. WPA employs RC4. If this new type of approach at breaching WPA/WPA2 protection actually works with ease, then the majority of VPNs are at risk as well.

Brute force decryption of WPA and WPA2 systems using parallel processing has been on the theoretical possibilities horizon for quite some time now – and presumably employed by relevant government agencies in extreme situations. If tech savvy hackers at home get the chance to tap the power of GPUs for this purpose, a whole can of worms is about to open.

Some companies employ different strategies however. Some industry experts believe that the security focus should not be on the link itself, but rather the points at each end. If you secure your systems and the data sent over the link, then it doesn’t matter what people see in between.