Nvidia's Geforce RTX 3090 GPU is very good at cracking passwords and that's good news for some

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(ed: we've updated this news piece with an email from the CEO of Passcovery) 

Forgetting your password and getting locked out of an important file can be a real hassle but thankfully password recovery solutions exist to help you out of these situations. However, these tools should only be used to gain access to your own files and never for the purpose of cracking another person's password (and that includes the master password to a password manager).

In recent years, powerful GPUs have made the process of cracking passwords even easier and according to a new update from Passcovery, the Nvidia RTX 3090 can drastically reduce the time it takes to do so.

For those unaware, Nvidia's RTX 3090 is the company's latest flagship graphics card which features a GA102 graphics processor with 10,496 cores and 24GB of GDDR6X memory. While the company's new GPU was designed to offer a significant boost in graphical performance in PC games and creative workloads, it's also very good at cracking passwords, especially weak ones.

Cracking passwords with GPU acceleration

With the release of Passcovery Suite 20.09 for Microsoft Office, OpenOffice, PDR, Zip, iOS backups and a number of other popular applications and file formats, Passcovery added support for GPU acceleration for not only the RTX 3090 but for all of Nvidia's new 3000 series graphics cards.

According to an update from Passcovery, experimental studies of clock signals between CPU and GPU have led to a breakthrough in GPU acceleration on Nvidia graphics cards with brute-force password attacks for Zip archives with classic encryption. 

In its tests using Passcovery Suite 20.09, the company found that brute-force Zip password attacks on Nvidia GTX 1060 GPUs were able to generate 669m passwords per second which is up from 3.4m per second with Passcovery Suite 3.80. 

At the same time, the speed of password searches also increased by 30 percent for TrueCrypt PBKDF@/Whirlpool/AES volumes and by 4 percent for Microsoft Office 2007-2019.

Thankfully though, software like Passcovery is mostly used to crack passwords in locally stored files, so the threat of hackers using the power of the RTX 3090 to gain access to your files is very unlikely.

If you still want to protect your files and online accounts further, you can use a password generator to create strong, complex passwords that even the best password recovery solutions won't be able to crack.

A breakthrough

In an email exchange with TechRadar Pro, Denis Gladysh, CEO of Passcovery explained that they haven’t carried out direct comparative studies. "Our request sent to Google Cloud to give us access to A100 has not been approved yet. We get data on RTX 3090 only from our users. Beyond doubt, the new RTX 3090 is a breakthrough from the point of view of password recovery. The calculated increment is about 3.3x as compared to 2080 by peak integer calculations (ALU*ClockRate). Usually GPUs intended for games, such as 3090, are better than Tesla both by performance and, especially, by the performance/price ratio."

Anthony Spadafora

After working with the TechRadar Pro team for the last several years, Anthony is now the security and networking editor at Tom’s Guide where he covers everything from data breaches and ransomware gangs to the best way to cover your whole home or business with Wi-Fi. When not writing, you can find him tinkering with PCs and game consoles, managing cables and upgrading his smart home.