Reply to post: Re: few days?

Father of Unix Ken Thompson checkmated: Old eight-char password is finally cracked

juice Silver badge

Re: few days?

> " I very much doubt that anything they had in the day could have brute-forced that password in any time within a human lifetime"

> Well, the fact that it has been cracked within a human lifetime demonstrates that you are incorrect - the research they had in the day led directly to the GPU that eventually took just a few days.

The original poster was talking about cracking the password using the hardware which was available at the time this password was leaked. I.e. 1979.

That's 40 years ago. Let's see - where's that beer mat?


Applying Moore's Law, that's about 25 cycles of exponential performance improvements. I.e. today it took 4 days, but 18 months ago it would have taken 8.

And 4^25 days is a number big enough that Google's built in calculator switches to e notation (1.1258999e+15, fact fans). But with a bit of tinkering, it comes to 3,084,657,279,020,000 *years*, if you had attempted to brute force the password with 1979 technology. Cry havoc and set loose the Apple ][!

Yes, it's a gross oversimplification - Moore's Law hasn't really applied for a few years, this was done on consumer GPU hardware, and no doubt there was special hardware and algorithms clutched firmly in the claws of various secret agencies, even then. But hey. There ain't that much room to scribble on this beer mat...

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