RC5-64 Secret-Key Challenge Solved

    Date26 Sep 2002
    CategoryCryptography
    2905
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    RSA Laboratories, the research center of RSA Security Inc. (Nasdaq: RSAS), the most trusted name in e-security®, today announced that a coordinated team of computer programmers and enthusiasts, known as distributed.net, has solved the RC5-64 Secret-Key Challenge. The distributed.net team solved the challenge in approximately four years, using 331,252 volunteers and their machines. Distributed.net receives a cash prize of $10,000 for solving the challenge.. . . RSA Laboratories, the research center of RSA Security Inc. (Nasdaq: RSAS), the most trusted name in e-security®, today announced that a coordinated team of computer programmers and enthusiasts, known as distributed.net, has solved the RC5-64 Secret-Key Challenge. The distributed.net team solved the challenge in approximately four years, using 331,252 volunteers and their machines. Distributed.net receives a cash prize of $10,000 for solving the challenge.

    Established in 1997, RSA Laboratories' Secret-Key Challenge is offered to quantify the strength of symmetric encryption algorithms such as DES and the RC5® algorithm with various key sizes. By sponsoring an actual contest, RSA Laboratories helps the industry confirm theoretical estimates, and through this constant evaluation, vendors are motivated to continue to improve their security solutions. The distributed.net consortium utilized the idle time of computers throughout the world to search through the list of all possible 64-bit keys for RSA Security's RC5 algorithm to find the one secret key selected at random by RSA Laboratories that decrypts a given message correctly.

    RSA Laboratories sponsors a series of cryptographic challenges that allow individuals or groups to attempt to solve various encryption "puzzles" for cash prizes. The RC5-64 Challenge is one of a series of contests held to determine the difficulty of finding a symmetric encryption key by exhaustive search (trial-and-error). Previous contests include the DES Challenge, the RC5-40 Challenge and the RC5-56 Challenge.

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