[RC5] DES II-3 Work to Completion?

Steve Bird sbird at UATC.com
Tue Dec 22 12:08:31 EST 1998

		-----Original Message-----
		From:	Marc Sissom [mailto:marcus at teleteam.net]
		Sent:	Monday, December 21, 1998 6:18 PM
		To:	rc5 at lists.distributed.net
		Subject:	Re: [RC5] DES II-3 Work to Completion?

		Steve Bird wrote:
		> First off..we proved this already by defeating RC5-56 with
a group of people
		> probably ¼ the size that we are now.
		That is, we have never 'completed' a keyspace. How will
		the keyservers and the network as a whole behave? We don't
		really know. We have a mix of online 24/7 machines and ones
		with irregular dialup access. Will we be able to sustain a
		decent keyrate as we near the end and start recycling blocks
		that have been issued but not returned?

		We did complete one of the contests.  And started recycling
blocks.  It may have been RC5-56.  But, I could've sworn that we complete at
least one of the old contests and started recycling before we found the key.

		Besides, the proxy servers and administrators are used to
putting out new keyspaces and having old ones get wrapped up.

		I vote for working DES2/3 to the end of the keyspace. So
		what if it takes a few days from RC5-64. Let's see what
		happens to the network.

		Beta testers and Administrators have already tested these
things.  I agree that RC5-64 isn't going to miss a few extra days of work,
but I sincerely believe that we will gain little out of it except to
say.."yeah, we looked at all the keys".  I don't see how any of the
information regarding time spent will be useful towards any other project
nor will it be helpful in designing future applications and projects for

		If you want to know how long it will take, just divide 2^56
by  our keyrate/second and you will be able to get a rough estimate of how
long it will take.  What about all the machines running unattended?  They
will keep crunching DES for absolutely no goal.  I don't want to have to run
round to the 30 or so machines I have running and tell them to ignore DES
once it is completed.  I'd much rather have them work for the prize.

		D.net is going to conduct a test of the DES system anyway.
A DES server will pop up in the first week of January and start distributing
keys for DES to see how many machines switch over automatically.  This will
give you the numbers you're going to see throughout the entire DES contest.
I believe this because there currently isnt any reason to leave the DES box
unchecked!  Therefore, any machine that regularly retrieves blocks from the
net will switch over on that day and start sending in DES blocks.  Within 1
day of this, you'll have your statistics.  To continue working on DES after
it has been beaten just to get these same statistics is worthless.  Any
increase will be due to new machines being added on....skewing the accuracy
of the statistics...making them worthless.

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