Distributed Computing and RSA encryption

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grey's picture
SX Retired
Joined: 2010/01/14

I thought this little bit of info was interesting:
One Internet organization, Distributed.net, is trying to make sure the United States's encryption standards are tough enough by breaking them. Their project, RC5-64, uses distributed computing to solve an encryption key by RSA Security, a company responsible for encrypting not only major commercial websites and servers, but also that of the United States government. Distributed.net set up servers and provides software for participants around the world to help find the secret key and break RSA's 64-bit encryption. Distributed.net has been involved in other RSA challenges in the past, mainly to help prove to the United States government that security standards aren't high enough, and, with enough computer power and time, even a complicated encryption code can be broken.

One of their previous projects proved that 56-bit encryption can be broken: a mere 4,000 individuals and teams found the secret key. The search only took 212 days and almost half of the possible key combinations, or solutions, were exhausted.

the home page of the org: http://www.distributed.net/

wonder if SX could develop a distributed computing net like that for our projects?

What is the point behind knowledge if it is not being applied, and in a productive manner?