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AMD

Submission + - John the Ripper Cracks Slow Hashes On GPU (h-online.com) 1

solardiz writes: "New community-enhanced version of John the Ripper adds support for GPUs via CUDA and OpenCL, currently focusing on slow to compute hashes and ciphers such as Fedora's and Ubuntu's sha512crypt, OpenBSD's bcrypt, encrypted RAR archives, WiFi WPA-PSK. A 5 times speedup over AMD FX-8120 CPU per-chip is achieved for sha512crypt on NVIDIA GTX 570, whereas bcrypt barely reaches the CPU's speed on AMD Radeon HD 7970 (a high-end GPU). This result reaffirms that bcrypt is a better current choice than sha512crypt (let alone sha256crypt) for operating systems, applications, and websites to move to, unless they already use one of these "slow" hashes and until a newer/future password hashing method such as one based on the sequential memory-hard functions concept is ready to move to.

The same John the Ripper release also happens to add support for cracking of many additional and diverse hash types ranging from IBM RACF's as used on mainframes to Russian GOST and to Drupal 7's as used on popular websites — just to give a few examples — as well as support for Mac OS X keychains, KeePass and Password Safe databases, Office 2007/2010 and ODF documents, Firefox/Thunderbird/SeaMonkey master passwords, more RAR archive kinds, WPA-PSK, VNC and SIP authentication, and it makes greater use of AMD Bulldozer's XOP extensions."

Education

Submission + - Drop out and innovate (timeshighereducation.co.uk) 1

An anonymous reader writes: The San Francisco-based founder of PayPal and co-founder of Facebook is offering two-year fellowships of up to $100,000 (£63,800) to 20 entrepreneurs or teams of entrepreneurs aged under 20 in a worldwide competition that closes this week.

With the money, the recipients are expected to drop out of university — Thiel calls it "stopping out" — and work full time on their ideas.

"Some of the world's most transformational technologies were created by people who stopped out of school because they had ideas that couldn't wait until graduation," Thiel says. "This fellowship will encourage the most brilliant and promising young people not to wait on their ideas either."

Thiel says the huge cost of higher education, and the resulting burden of debt, makes students less willing to take risks. "And we think you're going to have to take a lot of risks to build the next generation of companies."

But his plan also clearly challenges the ability of conventional universities to foster innovation. "I do think there are a lot of things people learn in school," Thiel says wryly. "I don't think they learn anything much about entrepreneurship."

Security

Submission + - Openwall Linux 3.0: no SUIDs, anti log spoofing (openwall.com) 2

solardiz writes: Openwall GNU/*/Linux (or Owl for short) version 3.0 is out, marking 10 years of the project. Owl is a small security-enhanced Linux distro for servers, appliances, and virtual appliances. Two curious properties of Owl 3.0: no SUID programs in default install (yet the system is usable, including password changing) and logging of who sends messages to syslog (thus, a user can't have a log message appear to come, say, from the kernel or sshd). No other distro has these. Other highlights of Owl 3.0: single live+install+source CD, i686 or x86_64, integrated OpenVZ (host and/or guest), "make iso" & "make vztemplate" in included build environment, ext4 by default, xz in tar/rpm/less, "anti-Debian" key blacklisting in OpenSSH. A full install is under 400 MB, and it can rebuild itself from source.

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