[RC5] Cracking 40 bits in realtime

Greg Wooledge wooledge at kellnet.com
Fri Jan 2 19:45:04 EST 1998

Matt Perry (matt at primefactor.com) wrote:

> My suggestion involved people like you and me submitting 40 bit encrypted
> message to which we know the plain text.  Just like RSA.  But EVERYONE can
> do it.  I'll submit the first and I'll tell you what the first 30
> characters of the message are.  Just like RSA.  My neighbours will be
> next, submitting their own 40 bit encrypted message to be cracked.

And after a week or so, John Q. Hax0r will submit an encrypted message
which just happens to contain a sniffed credit card transaction.

I have to agree with Skip here.  As neat as this concept is, it's way too
open to abuse.  Distributed.net would get in a *lot* of legal trouble if
the scenario described above took place and J.Q.H. used the credit card
information illegally.  Chances are the 10000+ of us cracking the blocks
wouldn't be prosecuted, simply because we're too numerous, but d.net
would almost certainly be shut down.  I'd really hate to see that happen.

# Greg Wooledge                         # "Daddy, why do those people have to
# wooledge at kellnet.com                  #   use Microsoft Windows?"
# http://kellnet.com/wooledge/main.html # "Don't stare, son; it's not polite."
#        --  Crack RC5-64 now! http://www.distributed.net/rc5/  --
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