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30 Mar 2005

Distributed brute-force attacks

The US Secret Service uses a network of 4,000 computers for brute-force attacks on encrypted forensic evidence obtained from target systems, using plaintext snippets and information from the user's browsed websites as cribs or clues to possible passwords. The system is reminiscent of the DES cracker built in 1999 by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, but uses spare cycles on desktop PCs like the SETI@home project.
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