Brute Force: Cracking the Data Encryption Standard by Matt Curtin

By Matt Curtin

In 1996, the supposedly uncrackable US federal encryption process used to be damaged. during this pleasing and exciting booklet, Matt Curtin charts the increase and fall of DES and chronicles the efforts of these who have been made up our minds to grasp it.

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This would take into account the speed of computers in general use, the likelihood of how many participants would be willing to work on such a project, and just how much computing power would be needed to find one key out of 256 . 5 Discovery Summer 1985 Bexley Public Library, Bexley, Ohio Like most cryptographers-to-be, I spent many of my summers off from school studying mathematical topics that I otherwise would not learn about until years later. I wanted to learn everything about how to manipulate numbers and symbols to determine the value of the mysterious x.

Nevertheless, the workshops had three important effects. First, much concern was voiced over the possible weaknesses of DES, with the key length being a major issue, as well as the participants’ inability to review the design principles behind NSA’s S-Box changes. If NSA wanted to implant a secret “shortcut” so that only it could decrypt messages immediately, that would be the place to do it, and participants might not have enough understanding of the details to identify it. Second, few participants were convinced that the Hellman-Diffie scheme for breaking DES keys was practical.

Consider a brute-force attack against messages encrypted with a three-bit cryptosystem. The software will need to recognize many popular data formats, for example, standard plain text, a JPEG graphics file, an MP3 sound file, and so on. To determine the key needed to unlock an encrypted message, the software would run the encrypted message through the decryption process with the first key, 000. If the output seems to match one of the known formats, the software will report 000 as a possible match.

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