Cryptography

Download Brute Force: Cracking the Data Encryption Standard by Matt Curtin PDF

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By Matt Curtin

"DES, the workhorse of cryptography and the U.S. executive encryption general for simply shy of 20 years (from 1978 to 1997), used to be used to guard an unlimited array of delicate info within the United said and during the remainder of the area. Many cryptographers felt that DES, which was once a 56-bit usual, was once too simply damaged. desktop scientists and software program specialists sought after the U.S. with the intention to use and export more suitable cryptography. the govt resisted, claiming that extra strong cryptography might let terrorists, baby pornographers, and drug traffickers to raised conceal their illicit actions. "In January of 1997, an organization referred to as RSA facts safeguard introduced a competition that challenged DES. RSA wrote a mystery message, encrypted it utilizing DES, and promised a $10,000 prize to an individual who may well decrypt the message, or holiday the code that concealed it. Responding to the problem and finally successful the prize was once a gaggle of programmers, machine scientists, and know-how fanatics who equipped themselves right into a loose-knit consortium known as DESCHALL (for the DES Challenge). They effectively decoded RSA's mystery message utilizing tens of millions of desktops all around the U.S. and Canada associated jointly through the net in an extraordinary allotted supercomputing attempt. utilizing a method known as "brute-force," desktops 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 millions of volunteers who battled to end up the getting older general for facts encryption used to be too vulnerable and to strive against powerful cryptography from the regulate of the U.S. govt. Matt Curtin, one of many leaders of DESCHALL, explains how DESCHALL broke RSA's mystery message and validated to the U.S. governments - and in reality to the world-wide enterprise and know-how groups - the necessity for enhanced, publicly verified cryptography.

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Extra resources for Brute Force: Cracking the Data Encryption Standard

Example text

Imagine that the die is being used to find the key for a tumbler with six positions, labeled 1 through 6, we’ll be able to make the connection. Roll the die a large number of times—say, 100 times—recording which number comes up on each roll. Now, if we set the one-tumbler, six-position lock to what comes up on the die, we have set the “key” for the system randomly, which is the best possible way to choose a key. If you then give the system to a group of attackers to unlock the system, they will probably set the lock to 1, pull it, moving on to 2 if it doesn’t work, and so on, until they unlock it.

That does not always work, as our sample message shows. In this case, the most frequent letter is Q, which stands for A. The second most frequent letter, however, does match the expected distribution. O is the second most common letter in the message, which corresponds to T, which is the second most common letter in English. Additional analysis will find other clues like letters appearing in double, certain letters that appear together, and the likely position of vowels and consonants. The strength of a substitution cipher can be increased dramatically by replacing the substitution alphabet with a character stream invulnerable to frequency analysis.

Running the wrong key through the decryption process with the message will give us more gibberish. Running the right key through the decryption process will give us something that looks sensible, like English text. For example, given ciphertext of QmFzZTY0PyBQbGVhc2Uh and the key 1101 as input, the decryption function would produce something like UW1GelpUWTBQeUJRYkdWaGMyVWg if the key is wrong. If the key is correct, the output would look like ATTACK AT DAWN. This entire process can be automated with software.

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