[RC5] An idea for making our point about RC5-56

Michael P. Gorse mgorse at WPI.EDU
Fri Jul 31 16:43:12 EDT 1998

On Fri, 31 Jul 1998 gindrup at okway.okstate.edu wrote:
>      If we had 17000 dedicated P5MMX/233 class or better machines we'd be 
>      flying along much faster.  If we converted those machines directly 
>      into cash, we'd have ~US$20.4M.  Since it only costs ~US$250k to 
>      make a dedicated cracker, we're "getting" only 1.2% of the time on 
>      those machines.  (Warning, this is analogic, not deductive.)  So 
>      we'd really only need 1 in 80 of those machines if they were 
>      dedicated.  200 machines.  200 machines isn't hard to find.  Make 
>      them PIIs and you need even fewer.
>      So, the idle time on 17000 computers is equivalent to 200 dedicated 
>      machines is equivalent to one US$250k dedicated piece of hardware.
Keep in mind that Deepcrack (apparently) used custom chips and was
dedicated for cracking des.  Deepcrack matched our speed because its
hardware was optimized for des cracking, not because the distributed.net
clients use very little of their computers' idle time.  It probably would
not be possible, for example, to create an inexpensive super-computer to
crack rc5 keys as fast as Deepcrack cracks des keys...

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