[RC5] I still dont understand?

Anthony J Hicks anthony at sizzling.com
Tue Dec 29 09:01:47 EST 1998

Please take the time to actually read the EFF web site's description of the
machine.  It explains exactly how there system works.  The chips that run
the machine were especially designed by EFF for cracking DES and it is NOT a
brute force attack like d.net, rather it very cleverly eliminates unlikely
blocks leaving a very small portion of the blocks space to brute force
attack.  Sure d.net has more processors and can process more keys in a brute
force style attack, but eff's so called "deep crack" chips are much more

There is a detailed book online covering all aspects of the construction of
the machine and design of the "deep crack" chips - an interesting read
(although technically heavy in parts).


-----Original Message-----
From: Steve Bird <sbird at UATC.com>
To: rc5 at lists.distributed.net <rc5 at lists.distributed.net>
Date: Tuesday, 29 December 1998 8:01
Subject: RE: [RC5] I still dont understand?

The EFF ( http://www.eff.org  <http://www.eff.org> ) is an advocacy group
for computer users and personal privacy. These are the people that will go
to bat in court for hackers and the like if they feel that it is a lack of
understanding of computers or the ethics behind the action of computer users
that has led people into trouble with the law. This is also the same group
that has pushed for the dropping of all charges against people like Phillip
Zimmerman( author of PGP) and other encryption software authors. The
protect and advocate the right to free uncensored communications on the
Internet for people like you and me.

However, it also just so happens that they built a machine that cost them
about $250,000 that has many processors working in parallel to crack DES
style encryption. Imagine if you will 1 machine that has chips in it that
do exactly what your d.net client does and thats ALL that it does. It is
very fast and quickly won DES-II. At the time that it won the contest it
alone was faster than the entire combined d.net effort. What isn't known is
if they've made any modifications to the machine or added any new machines
to their efforts. If not, then we should be faster!!

-----Original Message-----
From: Jonathan Beam [ mailto:jonbeam at geocities.com
<mailto:jonbeam at geocities.com> ]
Sent: Sunday, December 27, 1998 4:03 PM
To: rc5 at lists.distributed.net <mailto:rc5 at lists.distributed.net>
Subject: [RC5] I still dont understand?

Okay. I still dont understand exactly who the EFF is and what they're
exactly trying to do. Are they trying to find the keys faster than
distributed.net can or what? I just dont exactly understand what EFF's role
is in our contests and what they're doing so please kindly post a letter on
the list and just explain simply what the EFF is and what they do etc.

Jonathan Beam

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