Amazon EC2 Instances & DNA Workers

I have decided I will put together some screen cast video and supplement it with the blog post notes to show how I setup the AccessData DNA/EC2 rig.

I noticed something tonight as I am new to Amazon EC2.  You can get a maximum of 20 on demand instances.  There is a way to request your cap be raised.  So perhaps if you are law enforcement or an established forensics firm you can get upwards of 100 nodes on demand.

However there is another way.  Spot instances are based on unused Amazon capacity that you bid for.  That limit is 100 instances.  So if you bid higher than the spot pricing at that time to hold your instances you could get 100 running without special permission.  When I wrote this post the spot pricing for the medium CPU Linux was $0.059 / hour compared to $0.17 / hour for on demand guaranteed instances.

Keep in mind my test over the weekend gave us 1,330,000 passwords per second average for that one test.  If we assume that stays consistent then we are looking at the below options in an hour.  We are also talking the DNA worker running on Ubuntu under Wine.  I do not know how much, if at all, the average would increase if you did a Fedora instance with the native linux DNA Worker code.

So if you are limited to 20 2 CPU instances averaging 1,330,000 passwords per second then an hour would cost you on demand $3.40 and get you 95,760,000,000 password attempts.

If you get 100 2 CPU instances from spot pricing it could be $5.90 and 478,800,000,000 password attempts in an hour.

For some interesting reading on EC2 and PGP cracking check out the post over at electrical alchemy.

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