[RC5] Keyserver idea

Paul Turpie turpie at pemail.net
Tue Jun 23 15:13:13 EDT 1998


Note: The following is likely to be complete rubbish, bearing no resemblance
to reality.

The current master keyserver seems to work something like this.
1/    Pick a random spot in the keyspace.
2/    See if that block has been sent.
3/    If the block has already been sent, go back to step 1. Otherwise hand
out the block.

The problem with this is that when we get down to a few percent of unsent
blocks remaining, the server has trouble randomly finding any blocks still
unsent.

However would it be possible to pre-randomize or unsort the keyspace before
handing it out, then simply hand it out in order. Then the keyserver could
simply complete one keyspace through, then move on to the next chosen
keyspace.

Now that I think about it, is it even still necessary to randomly hand out
keys.  In the old days of RC5-56bit it made sense so that competing groups
wouldn't be able to use the knowledge of which keys we'd checked to save
them the effort.  Nowadays though we're pretty much the only ones working on
this, also anyway competing groups can already see which of the key
subspaces we've done, and probably guess which subspaces we're likely to do
next.

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