By Matt Curtin
"DES, the workhorse of cryptography and the U.S. govt encryption usual for simply shy of 20 years (from 1978 to 1997), used to be used to guard an unlimited array of delicate details within the United said and through the remainder of the realm. Many cryptographers felt that DES, which was once a 56-bit average, was once too simply damaged. machine scientists and software program specialists sought after the U.S. with a purpose to use and export better cryptography. the govt resisted, claiming that extra powerful cryptography could enable terrorists, baby pornographers, and drug traffickers to higher disguise their illicit actions. "In January of 1997, a firm known as RSA information protection introduced a competition that challenged DES. RSA wrote a mystery message, encrypted it utilizing DES, and promised a $10,000 prize to a person who may possibly decrypt the message, or holiday the code that concealed it. Responding to the problem and finally profitable the prize used to be a gaggle of programmers, computing device scientists, and expertise lovers who geared up themselves right into a loose-knit consortium referred to as DESCHALL (for the DES Challenge). They effectively decoded RSA's mystery message utilizing tens of hundreds of thousands of pcs all around the U.S. and Canada associated jointly through the web in an extraordinary disbursed supercomputing attempt. utilizing a strategy known as "brute-force," pcs partaking within the problem easily all started making an attempt each attainable decryption key. there have been over seventy two quadrillion keys to check. Brute strength tells the tale of the hundreds of thousands of volunteers who battled to turn out the getting older average for information encryption was once too susceptible and to combat powerful cryptography from the keep watch over of the U.S. govt. Matt Curtin, one of many leaders of DESCHALL, explains how DESCHALL broke RSA's mystery message and verified to the U.S. governments - and actually to the world-wide enterprise and know-how groups - the necessity for superior, publicly demonstrated cryptography.
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Additional resources for Brute Force: Cracking the Data Encryption Standard
A familiar example of a symmetric lock was mentioned on page 12: a bicycle chain with a combination lock that holds the two ends together until the numbers are rotated to display the proper combination. The key in this case is not a physical piece of metal, but the combination that the user can enter, which will cause the internal mechanisms of the lock to align so that the end pieces can be put together and pulled apart. If you know the combination, you can use the lock; if not, you can’t. All of these locks are vulnerable to an exhaustive key search, known as a brute-force attack.
In the usual two-key variant, plaintext is encrypted with one key, run through the decryption operation with a second key, and encrypted again with the ﬁrst key, giving an eﬀective strength of 112 bits. In a three-key variant, plaintext is encrypted three times, each with a diﬀerent key, giving an eﬀective strength of 168 bits. Despite cryptographers’ lack of conﬁdence in DES against determined attackers and the availability of stronger systems, DES continued to stand in oﬃcial standards and was used very heavily.
When reading the message, he’ll ﬁnd the letter in message in the second alphabet and match it up to a letter in the ﬁrst alphabet, revealing the original message. Variations have been proposed, where instead of simply shifting the alphabet some number of spaces, the letters of a word like QWERTY are used to start the substitution alphabet. In such a case, the key would become A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z Q W E R T Y A B C D F G H I J K L M N O P S U V X Z and ATTACK AT DAWN would become QOOQEF QO RQUI.
Brute Force: Cracking the Data Encryption Standard by Matt Curtin