[RC5] What if RC5-64 is done

Andreas D. Landmark andreas.landmark at noxtension.com
Sun Jun 3 01:53:57 EDT 2001

At 02.06.2001 18:45, you wrote:

> >An organization with size, money and intent could build a much more
> >engine without all these variables, and could attack the problem much more
> >quickly. It is rumored that the (U.S.) National Security Agency has built a
> >dedicated RC5 (DES, 3DES, ECC, pick your flavor) engine to permit
> >of encrypted traffic. With the state of the art where it is, it is very
> >doubtful they can plug in an encrypted message and read it the next day.
> >However, if a message is perceived to be important enough, it could be
> >the investment of a year's time to extract the message. Likewise for a
> >multinational corporation, to read an encrypted message worth $10B, an cash
> >investment of $10M seems reasonable.
>On the main page of distributed.net we can read
>"distributed.net's computing power has grown to
>become equivalent to that of more than 160000 PII 266Mhz computers
>working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year!"
>I doubt an organization could really build something A LOT stronger than
>this, able to crack a 64 bits encryption in a year or so ??

Let's say you base it all on quad (or even 8) cpu machines, then we're down 
to 40.000
machines, which still is a lot, if we then (to do rc5) swap them for AMD 
cpu's and crank up
the clock to a gigahertz that would do ~3.5 MKeys/s per cpu, roughly 
14MKeys/s per box,
a P2-266 does about 0.7MKeys/s, so you can see how this would reduce the 
number of
machines to 8000. Which by NSA standards is not undoable, in the volume 
we're talking
here the HW should get quite cheap, and who would expect the
NSA/CIA/KGB/<insert-favourite-oppressor-here> to use off-the-shelf hardware?

You might see some nifty custommade boxes milking the good old cow...


Andreas D Landmark / noXtension
Real Time, adj.:
         Here and now, as opposed to fake time, which only occurs there
and then.

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