Open source fans break strong encryption

    Date06 Apr 2000
    CategoryCryptography
    4488
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    597 computers get stuck into a feat of number crunching madness. Will Knight reports A group of French scientists joined forces with open source enthusiasts this week and claim to have broken a public encryption key of unprecedented strength (108-bit), . . . 597 computers get stuck into a feat of number crunching madness. Will Knight reports A group of French scientists joined forces with open source enthusiasts this week and claim to have broken a public encryption key of unprecedented strength (108-bit), snatching a world's first in code-breaking. It took 597 different computers, 6 months of number crunching to crack the encryption. The code breaking stunt is part of a challenge set by cryptographic technology firm Certicom which offered a cash prize of $10,000 (£6,200) for the successful code smasher. The encryption is based on a one way maths problem with just two answers. The two lucky individuals who managed to find the these will receive $1,000 each, but $8,000 of the prize money is to be donated to the Free Software Foundation.
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