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Nvidia RTX 4090 GPUs can crack your password in seconds

Research conducted by a cybersecurity firm shows that the top GeForce RTX 40 series graphics card's power isn't just great for gaming.

An Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 Founders Edition graphics card against a blurred background of code

It feels like there’s nothing the Nvidia RTX 4090 can’t do when it comes to gaming, and it’s not bad for AI workloads and creative work too, but the graphics card has now also proven to be a dab hand at password cracking. According to recent tests, it only takes a couple of seconds for the current GeForce flagship to break through some security measures.

There’s no question that the Nvidia GeForce RTX 4090 is the best graphics card money can buy for gaming, and it appears to be the fastest consumer card for cracking passwords too. However, it’s far from the top dog once Nvidia’s A100 GPUs get involved in such shady practices.

Two tables, made by Hive Systems, showcasing the speed at which it takes graphics cards like the GeForce RTX 4090 to hack passwords

Cybersecurity firm Hive Systems (via WCCFTech) put the GeForce RTX 4090’s password cracking abilities to the test, slotting twelve of them into a system and using a variety of password complexities from just numbers right up to those that included letters, both upper and lower case, as well as symbols. Their results are alarming at first glance, but don’t rush to change your login credentials just yet (unless you’ve been rocking the same ones for ages, of course).

An eight-character password, consisting only of numbers can instantly be cracked by a GeForce RTX 4090, while those made up entirely of lowercase letters take just a second. Even more complex examples only require 59 minutes, according to Hive Systems. However, these results are all based on passwords hidden via MD5 hashing techniques, which are used to obfuscate your password on servers.

Swapping over to bcrypt, a hashing technique purposefully designed to be much slower at processing (and thus cracking), makes the wait time much longer. The range of results also becomes larger, starting at nine minutes for numbers only, and topping out at 99 years for more complex examples.

While these results are impressive, though, Nvidia’s A100 GPUs wipe the floor with the GeForce RTX 4090 across both hashing techniques. However, the likelihood of someone owning 12 A100 cards, which cost $10,000 a piece, is highly unlikely, particularly when it comes to such nefarious purposes.

Check out our GeForce RTX 4090 review to learn more about how this graphics card performs in gaming benchmarks. Alternatively, give our GeForce RTX 4080 Super review a read, as this GPU is a better buy for most gamers.