Distributed.net is a experiment in distributed computing. It uses it to crack codes in contests and soon to use it on the search for Optimum Golumb Rulers. Info can be found at http://www.distributed.net or at #distributed.

People download clients for Macintosh, Windows, and Unix machines: these clients then use idle cycles their computers to crunch (brute force) through keyspaces, cracking such algorithms as DES and RC5. However, custom-made ASICs are much better at this than general computers. The EFF built a cracking machine that went through DES in 2.5 days, using custom chips. See "Cracking DES"

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