The main reason for this move, as reported by Steube, is related to the performance of the application.
"The final reason I decided to open the code was to implement bitsliced DES GPU kernels," Steube tells forum on his site.
“To achieve maximum efficiency and performance, salt should be included in the kernel context at compile time […] This means that the kernel should be compiled at runtime by system of the user. This kind of setup with the kernel customizing according to the salt/hash is only possible if the source code is available.”
There are of course other reasons that are similar, such as the need for some pentesters to use the tool and its algorithms without exposing sensitive information, but above all, the main driving force behind this policy change is performance .
The open source announcement was made through the twitter with an encrypted message:
IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: 1852d73f8cc07b9354a2b9159bee07d7
- hashcat (@hashcat) December 4, 2015