[RC5] d.net / seti

Pedro J. Cabrera pjcabrera at mindspring.com
Thu Dec 9 18:35:10 EST 1999

> -----Original Message-----
> From: owner-rc5 at lists.distributed.net
> [mailto:owner-rc5 at lists.distributed.net]On Behalf Of Stephen Ingham
> I just simply feel that the possibility of finding intelligent
> life on other
> planets is far more interesting than cracking somebody's secret test
> message.

Let me just point out that we are not just cracking somebody's secret test
message for fun or money.

We are demonstrating that the current 'standard' for encryption (i.e. DES)
and its 56-bit derivatives are too weak and can be cracked relatively fast
using nothing but simple brute force cracking methods.

Just adding 8 more bits to the key makes it much more robust than adding
steps to the encryption pipeline.  CSC is taking longer to crack than DES
because its algorithm adds more steps than DES, yet compared to the
'simpler' algorithms of RC5-64, Twofish, or Blowfish, CSC is being cracked
faster simply because of the smaller key.

While I can not disagree with your beliefs regarding SETI, dnet is more
relevant to my daily living today (banking, e-commerce, privacy,
authentication), while not knowing if ET is really out there makes no
difference in my life today.

Granted, finding out that extra-terrestrial intelligent life does exist
would make a universe of difference in anyone's life, but only when we find
out.  Notice I said when. ;-)


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