NVIDIA's new RTX 4090 can be used to crack passwords in minutes

ASUS TUF Gaming RTX 4090 OC Edition
(Image credit: Future)

What you need to know

  • Security researcher Sam Croley recently shared benchmarks that show off the power of the NVIDIA RTX 4090 when being used to crack passwords.
  • The RTX 4090 beat the RTX 3090 by more than a factor of two across a range of algorithms.
  • It's estimated that a custom rig of eight RTX 4090 could crack an eight-character password in 48 minutes.

We already knew that the NVIDIA RTX 4090 was one of the best graphics cards on the market. We now also know that a group of the new GPUs is powerful enough to crack passwords within minutes. Even a single RTX 4090 can likely crack passwords within days.

The information comes courtesy of security researcher Sam Crowley, who shared benchmarks of the graphics card for HashCat V.6.2.6, which is a tool for cracking passwords (via Tom's Hardware).

With enough raw power and time, it's possible to crack any password, but it's impressive that the RTX 4090 is more than twice as effective as the RTX 3090 in similar tests.

See more

HashCat is a tool that can be used by security admins to test the strength of passwords. It can also be used for malicious reasons, such as stealing people's passwords.

A password hashing rig with eight RTX 4090 graphics cards could crack an eight-character password within 48 minutes, according to researcher estimates. That's a specific use case, but it provides context for the power of the GPU. Tom's Hardware highlighted that eight-character passwords are the most common among leaked passwords, according to Statista.

While the RTX 4090 is capable of cracking passwords, it will likely be used more to play the best PC games. That being said, it's always worth following safe password guidelines, such as not reusing a password across accounts. It's also a good idea to use one of the best password managers.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).