[rc5] Block size

Stephen Langasek vorlon at dodds.net
Tue Oct 28 16:11:18 EST 1997

On Tue, 28 Oct 1997, Bill Plein wrote:

> >This doesn't answer your question directly (I don't know the reasons
> >since I'm not in the core team or anything), but it's probably worth
> >mentioning that Cyberian is also going to use 2^28 blocks this time
> >around, and if both efforts use the same block size it would make it
> >easier to share blocks.
> Share blocks? Not after what they did last time (or so I hear). It sounded
> like they started late, knew that we had checked X% of the keyspace, and
> decided they didn't have to check those blocks. That was one-way sharing.
> Forget it.

I'm actually surprised to hear that there's going to be a this time for
Cyberian.  Unlike the long-term goals of the Distributed.net team,
Cyberian's interest seemed to be solely in cracking RC5-56.  What has
inspired them to take on RC5-64?  Given how long it would take even the
Bovine group to complete the RC5-64 keyspace, I can't figure how they
would think it was worth their while... So what's their angle?  Greed?
Resentment of the Bovine coordinators? :)

In any case, it remains in our best interest to work together with them.
If they choose to work outside the distributed.net framework, that's
certainly their choice.  And if a mutual exchange of information about the
keyspace is suggested, my voice will be among those championing the idea.
Squabbling doesn't get us a larger piece of the money, and it won't
improve the political consequences of breaking RC5-64 (since we're all
supposed to be in this for something than the money anyway, eh?).  The
importance of the RC5-64 contest is dubious as it is, since with each
successive challenge the cries of 'but look how long it took them!' get
louder.  Let's hope RSA has a killer press release lined up for when we
break the next one. ;)  But especially when distributed.net isn't focusing
exclusively on the RSA challenges, to withhold that sort of information
would be petty.

The only thing that squabbling would do is get us bad press, and cause
people to turn and walk away from both projects... which only helps those 
like Louis Freeh who are trying to keep a cap on encryption.

                               -Steve Langasek

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