[RC5] Branching, Deep Crack, hardware RC5, & projects

Steve Bird sbird at UATC.com
Thu Jul 30 14:06:28 EDT 1998



	-----Original Message-----
	From:	Chris Riley [SMTP:chris_riley at coral.net]
	Sent:	Wednesday, July 29, 1998 7:06 AM
	To:	rc5 at lists.distributed.net
	Subject:	[RC5] Branching, Deep Crack, hardware RC5, &
projects


	One question, could d.net be having a negative effect on the
perceived
	security of RC5-64?  And if not actually having such and effect, how
often
	will it be twisted to sound like it is?   For example, in the EFF
book the
	FBI and NSA are quoted as using d.net's results on RC5-56 to show
that it
	is just too hard for them to even crack 56 bits - "But that idea
[brute
	force cracking] is simply unworkable, because this kind of brute
force
	decryption takes too long to be useful to protect the public safety.
For
	example, decrypting a single message that had been encrypted with a
56-bit
	key took 14,000 Pentium-level computers over four months

	The point is that a foreign country wouldn't use thousands of PCs.
They would do what the EFF did, they would build specialized hardware.  The
best thing that d.net can REALLY demonstrate is how easy it is to develop
brute force SOFTWARE.  The best thing the EFF did was demonstrate brute
force HARDWARE.  

	Developing brute force hardware is what these foreign governments
could do, and If one machine can match 14000 Pentium class computers and if
14,000 Pentium class computers took 1 month to crack DES-II-1 then imagine
what 100 EFF-style machines could have done...or even 10.

	The results of the EFF's victory in DES-II-2 should not cause dismay
amongst d.net participants. They have demonstrated the ability to create a
machine that would be similar to something a foreign government would
develop.  Considering that most of the US's foreign rivals reside in
Oil-rich countries, it stands to reason that they would be able to afford
MANY $250K machines to break encryption codes.
	
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