Re: What's Next?

andrew meggs (
Mon, 9 Jun 1997 17:26:40 -0400

At 1:11 PM -0700 6/9/97, Dave Zarzycki wrote:
>How will the lucky client respond (beeping, mailing of the user who owns
>the process, etc.)?

Most terminal-based clients will print "Key found at iteration nnnnn." and
terminate -- hopefully people are redirecting output to a logfile. The
MacOS client will display a dialog box and replace the progress bar with a
flashing "Key Found". I have no idea what happens if someone running desgui
finds the key.

>How will the unlucky clients respond?

They'll keep on running, unless Rocke kills off the server. The server has
the facility to make a client display a message or to tell a client to
quit, and once the key is found it likely will be set up to do one of those.

>How quickly will we (on the list) find out?

Likely not until the winning key has been confirmed and the prize has been
claimed, both to avoid false alarms and to keep someone else from making a
grab at the money.

>How quickly will Rocke find out?

The server will know right away. I believe Rocke has a pager, but he could
always be out of range.

>Will we make a coordinated effort and all move on to rc5? (imagine the
>sudden speed increase for them! ;-)

We could, or it might be possible to do a round of client updates that all
have rc5 cracking code embedded in them, and once the des competition was
over all 15000+ hosts would start checking 56-bit rc5 keys in an
independent effort. That's assuming our computing power by that time would
be a match for an rc5 group that had a tremendous head start. Or, if we
have truly phenomenal power by then, we could think about 64-bit rc5.
Unlike DES, rc5 is designed to be efficient on today's CPU's, so while
64-bit rc5 would take 256 times longer than 56-bit rc5, it probably would
only take 50-100 times longer than 56-bit DES. :)

Andrew Meggs, content provider Antennahead Industries, Inc.
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