[RC5] project suggestions

P WR bean703 at hotmail.com
Mon May 21 16:38:41 EDT 2007


I posted a message a few months ago suggesting that distributed.net take a 
break from RC5 and work on some short-term projects. I've been running 
distributed.net for about a year and it seems like the OGR project is at 
least making progress, but the RC5 project doesn't look like it will be 
completed within our lifetimes. Now that the Secret Key Challenge was 
canceled it really seems pointless. And also it seems like a waste to have 
the fastest supercomputer consumed for years by a single cryptography 
challenge.

One thing we could do is help out other distributed computing projects. 
There are many active cryptography projects that have years of computing 
ahead of them. But with distributed.net's help, they could be finished right 
now. Helping other projects would add to distributed.net's accomplishments, 
prevent distributed.net from having long, uneventful periods, and help 
recruit new members from other projects.

Below are some examples of current projects that distributed.net could 
easily complete. I estimated the amount of time that distributed.net would 
take to complete the projects based on the ratio of clients per day.

1. The M4 Message Breaking Project is breaking encrypted messages from 1942. 
The current project started over a year ago and has completed about 8% of 
the keyspace. distributed.net could finish the keyspace within a month.
http://www.bytereef.org/m4_project.html

2. In the trading card game Perplex City, there is a card with 
distributed.net's cows and an encrypted message. The card game company is 
offering many prizes for decrypting the message. There is a distributed 
computing project, the 13th Labour project, that is trying to decrypt the 
message. The project is 77% complete, but at their current rate they are 
still facing up to half a year of computing. distributed.net could finish 
this project in 5 days. If we started now, we would reach 100% by Friday.
http://www.13thlabour.tk/

3. DistrRTgen is building rainbow tables to crack hashes. Right now there 
are 3936 workunits, but they add new projects each week. 3936 workunits will 
take 6 days for DistrRTgen to complete. distributed.net could finish the 
whole thing in half an hour!
http://www.freerainbowtables.com/

Besides cryptography projects, we could maybe even work with projects like 
D2OL http://www.d2ol.com/ or math projects like Seventeen Or Bust 
http://www.seventeenorbust.com/

There are many distributed computing projects that could use our help. And 
helping them would give us a larger variety of projects to work on. And even 
if you don't like my idea of merging with other projects, I definitely think 
we need more short-term projects. There are many cool cryptography projects 
that we could compute. And they wouldn't take hundreds of years to complete 
like RC5.

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