An encryption algorithm currently undergoing a crack attempt by distributed.net. It has turned into somewhat of a long-term project that really just isn't as cool as it used to be. However, there is a spiffy cash prize for winning the contest.

RC5-64, RSA's Secret 56-bit secret key challenge, has been cracked.

A PIII-450 in Tokyo found the winning key. The key that cracked the mammoth was 0x63DE7DC154F4D03, and it was discovered July 14th 2002. The key produced the plaintext output: "The unknown message is: Some things are better left unread".

1,757 days and 15,769,938,165,961,326,592 keys later, 331,252 individuals around the world can claim they were part of one of Distributed.net's largest project, to date. The peak rate of data processing was equivalent to 45,998 AMD 2Ghz machines (for you Mac folks out there, the equivalency was that of about 32,504 800Mhz G4 Laptops).

Projects like this have major implications in the computing community. The Distributed project is an effort to use multi-processing and the internet to essentially create one large global super-computer able of cracking or processing any amount of data. The proof is in the pudding here, as they have achieved their goal. The Distributed.net is now looking to the future, and are already in the process of re-working their client to accommodate for new projects, including RC5-72. With the momentum of the distributed community around the world, anything is possible.


sources:
http://www.rsasecurity.com/
http://distributed.net

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