information.gif (4057 bytes)
news.gif (3756 bytes)
status.gif (3810 bytes)

Updated: 01/04/98 06:22 PM -0500

Information on RC5-64

    RSA had issued a secret-key challenge some time ago.  Distributed.net took up the organizing of the world's fastest computation machine by developing client software and keyserver software for every major platform. In the initial run on the 56-bit challenge, a member of the team came up with the correct block on the 250th day.

    Each block is comprised of 268,435,456 keys.  The average computation time for each block is about 40 minutes.

    With the 64-bit challenge (see identifier RC5-32/12/8) the possibilities and computations necessary have multiplied many times. The possibilities are 2^64 or simply 1 in 68,719,476,736 blocks.  Perhaps as odd as finding that certain grain of sand at some remote beach.

     The competition is to say to the United State's Government that current encryption export standards are over-bearing and prevent civilians and private industry from remaining secure abroad, as well as limiting the competitiveness of U.S. companies in the global market.

     It is about freedom.   To boot RSA has offered a $10,000 bounty for the holder of the key.  The prize money will be divided in accordance with the distributed.net organizers, with $8,000 going to charity, $1,000 to the organizers, and the remaining $1,000 going to the key holder.