WPA/WPA2 Password Security Testing using Graphics Processing Units

Sorin Andrei Visan

Abstract


This thesis focuses on the testing of WPA/WPA 2 password strength. Recently, due to progress in calculation power and technology, new factors must be taken into account when choosing a WPA/WPA2 secure password. A study regarding the security of the current deployed password is reported here.

Harnessing the computational power of a single and old generation GPU (NVIDIA 610M released in December 2011), we have accelerated the process of recovering a password up to 3 times faster than in the case of using only our CPUs power.

We have come to the conclusion that using a modern GPU (mid-end class), the password recovery time could be reduced up to 10 times or even much more faster when using a more elaborate solution such as a GPU cluster service/distributed work between multiple GPUs. This fact should raise an alarm signal to the community as to the way users pick their passwords, as passwords are becoming more and more unsecure as greater calculation power becomes available.


Keywords


WLAN, IEEE 802.11, WPA/WPA2, PSK, GPU, CUDA, PYRIT

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References


Charlene Chow Ying Kwong, “An Empirical Approach of Wireless Forensics”, Department of Computer and System Sciences Stockholm University, 2009

N. Tomai, “Particularities of security design for wireless networks in small and medium business (SMB)”, Informatica Economica, vol. 44, no. 11, pp. 93-98, 2007

Marc Shober, “Efficient Password and Key recovery using Graphic Cards”, Ruhr-Universitat Bochum, 2010

Thomas Roth,“Breaking encryptions using GPU accelerated cloud instances”, in BlackHat Conference, Conf., 2011 [Online] Available: https://media.blackhat.com/bh-dc-11/Roth/BlackHat_DC_2011_Roth_Breaking_encryptions-wp.pdf

David B. Kirk,Wen-mei W. Hwu, Programming Massively Parallel Processors, Elsevier Inc, 2010

LastBit Corp, Password Calculator, [Online] Available: http://lastbit.com/pswcalc.asp

Pyrit project, [Online] Available: http://code.google.com/p/pyrit/


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Journal of Mobile, Embedded and Distributed Systems (JMEDS) ISSN: 2067 – 4074 (online)