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The Feds And Their Video Games



November 22nd, 2009 12:52 pm | by Ed |

According to an article on Axcess News, the feds are indeed using video games. Although to give a little credit, they're not just sitting around an XBox playing Halo 3: ODST. Instead, they're using a network of original PS3's with Linux installed on them to crack passwords.

"Bad guys are encrypting their stuff now, so we need a methodology of hacking on that to try to break passwords," said Claude E. Davenport, a senior special agent at the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Cyber Crimes Center, known as C3. "The Playstation 3 - its processing component - is perfect for large-scale library attacks."

They've got a network of 20 PS3's that can test four million passwords per second and they're hoping to add another forty machines.

Now I get that they're supposedly only doing this with encrypted material that is on computers that they have a warrant to search but I can't help thinking that there's serious potential for abuse here as well.

Thinking out loud here.. If a six character password can have 256^6 possible combinations (almost 282 trillion) like the article said, suppose somebody were to use a 100 character password?

Hrm... 256^100 = 6.6680144328798542740798517907213e+240

That should take a while to crack.

Technorati Tags: linux, playstation 3, passwords, cyber crimes, ps3, password cracking

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