[rc5] Some thoughts on finding the key

Chris Arguin Chris.Arguin at unh.edu
Fri Oct 24 14:30:49 EDT 1997

On Fri, 24 Oct 1997, Rob Winters wrote:

> On Fri, 24 Oct 1997, Richard Freeman wrote:
> > Actually - think about what that means.  I am running offline.  I get a
> > message that I may have solved RC5 - and that the solution is now in
> > buff-out waiting for me to be online.  Chances are that I won't be online
> > anymore - I'll be deciphering how buff-out works so that I can submit the
> > correct key myself and take the full 10K - I'll have plenty of time since
> > nobody else will get that key until the effort has exhausted all non-tardy
> > keys...
> So, we should trust distributed.net enough to run their object code and do
> whatever calculations their server tells us to do, but they can't trust
> us to report a correct solution? Either we're cooperating or we're not.
> Either we're doing it for the money or we're not.

I think you just covered it. Are you doing it for the money? You may be
honorable enough to not cheat, but that isn't saying that everyone is. I
think it is prefectly reasonable for distributed.net to ask us to trust
them. After all, we are running their software, so we already have to
trust them to some extent.

But anybody can grab their software, and use the their labor to come up
with a solution with no effort on the user's part other than processor
time.  Sure, it would be nice if we all could be trusted, and in the
perfect world we could be. But it ain't prefect.

> I think the odds that someone will be cheated are exceedingly slim. Even
> if they were, I think that the cheater would be unable to "show their
> work" (Who could, really?), and distributed.net would likely be able to
> show the scum's participation in its effort.

Probably. But why risk it? 

> Is it *really* in the fine print that the solver has to wait for an RSA
> press release? How could RSA refuse to award the money regardless of who
> makes the announcement, especially with 80% going to charity? Imagine the
> PR from a move like that? News is news, and it happens when it happens.
> Tell RSA to write the damned RC5-64 press release now!  :-)

Come now. They have to verify the validity, obviously. That doesn't take
to long, but they certainly aren't going to say, "We will award the money
to whoever announces that they broke it first." And it doesn't matter
where the money is going to, it still will take some time.

Chris Arguin                 | "...All we had were Zeros and Ones -- And 
cpa at hopper.unh.edu           |  sometimes we didn't even have Ones."
                             +--------------+	- Dilbert, by Scott Adams
http://leonardo.sr.unh.edu/arguin/home.html |

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