Re: Final (?) Draft of Press Release

Rocke Verser (
Wed, 2 Apr 1997 00:43:19 -0700

I don't wish to impose my will on whatever you folks want in your
Press Release. So please don't consider these suggestions with any
more weight than any others.

Paragraph 2. How about "insufficient" in lieu of "minimal"

General: How about some mention of the US Government's 40-bit
limit on cryptographic export without special licensing.

For example: "The maximum key-length allowed for export by the US
Government without special licensing is 40 bits. If every Fortune 500
company used a single 40-bit key to communicate with their international
offices and subsidiaries, the meager computing power expended as of March 31
by the DESCHALL group could have revealed approximately half of their keys.
At the present pace, approximately twenty-two additional secrets could
be compromised each day."

Note: This is based on DESCHALL clients having tested 0.2% of 2^56 keys
(1.44e14 keys); Keys required to find average 40-bit key is 2^39 = 5.5e11;
1.44e14 / 5.5e11 = 262. Second statement is based on 1.24e13 keys
per day; 1.24e13 / 5.5e11 = 22.6 secrets compromised per day.

General: How about a mention of a DES application that would concern the
average citizen. Is single DES still used between banks and the Federal
Reserve? Do Visa and MasterCard still use single DES? Other applications
that could impact the average American?

-- Rocke