Nick Breese, a senior security consultant at Auckland-based Security-assessment.com, has come up with a way to drastically increase the processing capability of cracking passwords, using a PS3.
By implementing common ciphers and hash functions using vector computing, Breese has pushed the current upper limit of 10--15 million cycles per second -- in Intel-based architecture -- up to 1.4 billion cycles per second.
Breese, who has been working on the project, called "Crackstation", for the past six months, used the Sony PlayStation 3 gaming console for his break-through research. PS3's Cell Broadband Engine technology was created by IBM, Toshiba and Sony. The companies collaborated to create the CBE, commonly known as Cell, processor, which consists of one scalar processor and eight vector processors.