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How are GPU's provisioned for password cracking? Do all, if not most cracking programs have special GPU aware software or do they just function at the basic driver or API level of the device?

Can it be as simple as plugging in a video card and installing a driver?

Also, I have access to a lot of processing power from ASICs chips(+10 TeraHash/s) from bitcoin miners. I know they can only calculate based off of sha256, but can those chips ever be easily converted for cracking? If so, I would imagine the bitcoin gold rush of our era has made anything with sha256 obsolete.

This question might be too simple that its considered common sense and there isn't much documentation on it. Either way, I'm over thinking it.

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How are GPU's provisioned for password cracking? Do all, if not most cracking programs have special GPU aware software or do they just function at the basic driver or API level of the device?

Can it be as simple as plugging in a video card and installing a driver?

No, it is definitely not that simple. The password cracking application has to be written with GPU support in mind, either using CUDA (if you are using an Nvidia card), or OpenCL.

However, many of the popular password cracking applications has already done this. For example, John the Ripper has GPU support. Another popular password cracking application known for GPU support is oclHashcat.

Also, I have access to a lot of processing power from ASICs chips(+10 TeraHash/s) from bitcoin miners. I know they can only calculate based off of sha256, but can those chips ever be easily converted for cracking? If so, I would imagine the bitcoin gold rush of our era has made anything with sha256 obsolete.

For this particular question, I will refer you to an answer on our sister Bitcoin site.

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