[RC5] [ADMIN] DES-II-2 is over...

Van Drie, Mathew MHVanDrie at software.rockwell.com
Fri Jul 17 15:54:20 EDT 1998

>In a press release (http://www.eff.org/descracker.html) the Electronic
>Frontier Foundation (EFF) announced today that it had beat DES-II-2
>using a machine it developed for US$250,000 designed specifically to
>crack DES.
>distributed.net is thrilled that it has been shown DES can be
>cracked in a remarkably short time, with dedicated special purpose
>hardware. The fact that this DES contest could be cracked in only
>2.5 days dramatically demonstrates that 56-bit encryption is not
>adequate for any serious privacy/security use.

To me, this is really scary. I mean, when d.net cracked DES once, and then
again, I didn't think a thing of it. What hacker is going to be able to get
20,000 some odd computers together to crack something. But this was one
computer! And I'm sure you could get some idot to drop $250,000 for a
computer like this. It would pay off for itself within weeks or even days!
Think of it: if someone could sniff a credit card transaction and have it
cracked within three days, they could max that card out and move on to
another one! Don't even get me started on what someone could do if they got
their hands on government document and records!

So, while I'm sad that d.net didn't get DES-II this time, It did finally hit
home just how weak DES is.


Matthew Van Drie   |            ////
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