[RC5] Historical perspective

Robert Brooks robertb at geocities.com
Fri Nov 21 12:05:44 EST 1997


Out of curiosity, I wonder what a distributed supercomputer like ours would
have been able to do with the "uncrackable" mechanically encrypted messages
of the WWII era?  Has anyone subjected those old messages to '90s
computerized decryption to see how the science has evolved... surely
there's a web site out there somewhere.

It's interesting, though, that part of our decryption method depends on the
16 or so characters of known text at a known position in the message we're
trying to break.  What about the real-world scenario of a message encrypted
first with a simple cypher (even a quickie rot-13), then run through
RC5-64?  How long would it have taken to crack RC5-56 if we didn't know any
of the contents of the message -- if we had had to apply the additional
step of looking for common English-language letter frequencies and patterns?

(quick, someone tell me it would have only been a matter of time!)

Robert Brooks / robertb at geocities.com
http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/4535/graph.html (Wallpaper Heaven!)
http://www.flash.net/~totoro/ (Totoro Consulting / totoro at flash.net)

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