Re: Why crack more than 40bit RC5 keys? (WAS RE: RC5, hiding source code)

Nelson Minar (nelson@media.mit.edu)
Sun, 11 May 1997 19:12:35 -0400


>Also, part of the attempt to do more bits is to show that it CAN be done.
>If we all work together, we can show all the (governments, businesses,
>crime syndicates, ad nauseum) that it CAN be done, using spare cycles on
>machines around the net...

I'm very excited about the potential uses of spare cycles, too.

But as demonstrations of crypto cracks go, I wonder whether we've
played it out already. RSA-129 and the first RC5-40 were historic
moments. And I think breaking DES once will be historic, just because
DES is so important. But There's something like 10,000 computers working
on DES now between SolNet and DESCHALL. That's a huge amount of
effort. Isn't anyone else worried that the news story is going to read
"DES Secure - takes 10,000 computers six months to break one key"
??