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applied cryptography - protocols, algorithms, and source code in c

It costs nothing to set up a microcomputer to test

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Unformatted text preview: , Whitfield Diffie and Martin Hellman [497] postulated the existence of a special-purpose DES-cracking machine. This machine consisted of a million chips, each capable of testing a million keys per second. Such a machine could test 256 keys in 20 hours. If built to attack an algorithm with a 64-bit key, it could test all 264 keys in 214 days. A brute-force attack is tailor-made for parallel processors. Each processor can test a subset of the keyspace. The processors do not have to communicate among themselves; the only communication required at all is a single message signifying success. There are no shared memory requirements. It is easy to design a machine with a million parallel processors, each working independent of the others. More recently, Michael Wiener decided to design a brute-force cracking machine [1597,1598]. (He designed the machine for DES, but the analysis holds for most any algorithm.) He designed specialized chips, boards, and racks. He estimated prices. And he discovered that for $1 million, someone could build a machine that could crack a 56-bit DES key in an average of 3.5 hours (results guaranteed in 7 hours). And that the price/speed ratio is linear. Table 7.1 generalizes these numbers to a variety of key lengths. Remember Moore’s Law: Computing power doubles approximately every 18 months. This means costs go down a factor of 10 every five years; what cost $1 million to build in 1995 will cost a mere $100,000 in the year 2000. Pipelined computers might do even better [724]. For 56-bit keys, these numbers are within the budgets of most large companies and many criminal organizations. The military budgets of most industrialized nations can afford to break 64-bit keys. Breaking an 80-bit key is still beyond the realm of possibility, but if current trends continue that will change in only 30 years. Previous Table of Contents Next Products | Contact Us | About Us | Privacy | Ad Info | Home Use of this site is subject to certain Terms & Conditions, Copyright © 1996-2000 EarthWeb Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction whole or in part in any form or medium without expres...
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