RE: DRAFT: Press Release

Adam Haberlach (
Mon, 31 Mar 1997 21:19:36 -0800

It looks good to me, but we might want to mention something
about the fact that DES depends on being difficult to crack--not
impossible to crack. We could throw in the wow factor that what we plan
to get done in our lifetimes was estimated to take several centuries not
more then 30 years ago.

Also, see comments in draft. I don't know what the standard
length is for this kind of document, but it seems to get a bit wordy in
there at times...

Adam Haberlach
Crack DES NOW!

> -----Original Message----- > From: C Matthew Curtin [] > Sent: Monday, March 31, 1997 8:21 PM > To: > Subject: DRAFT: Press Release > > Comments, please... I want to release this on Wednesday of this > week. If it requires more time to fix up, then I'd like to have it > out as soon after that as possible. > > DESCHALL Group Searches for DES Key > > [DRAFT] (will say ``for immediate release'' here one day) [DRAFT] > > In answer to RSA Data Security, Inc.'s ``crypto challenge,'' a group > of students, hobbyists, and professionals of all varieties is looking > for a needle in a proverbial haystack. The ``needle'' is the > cryptographic key used to encrypt a given message, and the > ``haystack'' is the huge pile of possible keys: > 72,057,594,037,927,936 of them. > > /* I like it */ > > The point? To prove that computing technology is sufficiently > advanced that such a search is feasible using only the spare cycles of > general purpose computing equipment, and as a result, unless much > > /* I think there should be a 'that' between 'and' and 'as' */ > > larger ``keys'' are used, the security provided by cryptosystems is > minimal. Conceptually, a cryptographic key bears many similarities to > the key of a typical lock. A long key has more possible combinations > of grooves than a short key. With a very short key, it might even be > feasible to try every possible combination of grooves in order to find > a key that matches a given lock. In a cryptographic system, keys are > measured in length of bits, rather than grooves, but the principle is > the same: unless a long enough key is used, computers can be used to > figure out every possible combination until the correct one is found. > > /* The second sentence is a bit too long, but otherwise good */ > > In an electronic world, cryptography is how both individuals and > organizations keep things that need to be private from being public > knowledge. Whether it's a private conversation or an electronic funds > transfer between two financial institutions, cryptography is what > keeps the details of the data exchange private. It has often been > openly suggested that the US Government's DES (Data Encryption > Standard) algorithm's 56-bit key size is insufficient for protecting > information from either a funded attack, or a large-scale coordinated > attack, where large numbers of computers are used to figure out the > text of the message by brute force: that is, trying every possible > combination. > > /* we might want to mention that our effort is using resources that > otherwise would be wasted, or are essentially free. If someone had > some serious money to devote to this, it could be done routinely. Has > anyone done the math to see what the total monetary value of our > effort is? */ > > > Success with this project will prove such postulations correct. > > The effort is being coordinated through a web site at > Many more > participants are sought in order to speed up the search. The client > software is available through the web site. One simply needs to > follow the download instructions to obtain a copy of the software. > Once this has been done, the client simply needs to be started, and > allowed to run in the background. During otherwise wasted cycles, the > computer will work its way through the DES keyspace, until some > computer cooperating in the effort finds the answer. > > Contacts: > Project Coordinator > Rocke Verser <> > > Web Site > > > Mailing List > > > To subscribe, send the text ``subscribe deschall'' (without the > quotes) to <>, and you'll be > emailed instructions. > > -- > Matt Curtin Chief Scientist Megasoft, Inc. > > I speak only for > myself > Death to small keys. Crack DES NOW! >