German researcher Thomas Roth has announced that he has successfully been able to break into a Wi-Fi network encrypted with the Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) protocols in under 6 minutes by using Amazon EC2 cloud computing.
Roth uses a brute force approach to try to gain entry to the network. Using Amazon’s cloud based computing, which can be used for just 28 cents per minute, his technique is to try and decrypt WPA by forceable trying up to 400,000 password per second. This means that in 6 minutes Roth’s software tries 144,000,000 password.
When speaking to Reuters Roth said “People tell me there is no possible way to break WPA, or, if it were possible, it would cost you a ton of money to do so. But it is easy to brute force them.”
Roth will present his software to the public and teach people how to use it later this month at the Black Hat hacking conference in Washington, D.C.
Amazon have been quick to point out that using Amazon Web Services (AWS) and its Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) computing service violates their terms and conditions (and is illegal in many places around the world) without the permission of the Wi-Fi network owner.