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News Story

Brute forcing WPA keys

10th October 2008.

A Russian company, ElcomSoft claims to be able to break Wi-Fi encryption keys using brute force techniques at up to 100 times faster than normal, by using the power of computer video cards. Video cards are now so powerful that they have their own processors and super-fast memory. Elcomsoft are combining these features of nVidia video cards with the main CPU to trial and error their way to the correct combination of security code to break the encryption.

WEP, the oldest wireless security standard, has been vulnerable to brute force for some time, but the increase in speed means that a dedicated hacker with the right software may be able to break WPA and WPA2.

Elcomsoft are only selling their technology to government agencies and forensic companies at the moment, so no need to worry about the neighbours might find out just yet.

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