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26 February 2006

More cryppie fun...

The potential for increased personal computing power and networked distributed processing has long been recognized as having applications in the field of cryptography. Indeed, attacks against the former government standard for ciphers, DES, were conducted by Electronic Frontier Foundation and others through just such a network - which broke the cipher in less than 24 hours, using 100,000 networked computers which attempted 250 billion keys per second.

DES has since been replaced by AES, and the background reading on the succession process is most interesting. The principal remains the same however.

Thus we have, via Boing Boing, another attempt to harness distributed cryptanalysis to solve several remaining unbroken messages from the German WWII Enigma system.

When will someone have a go at the remaining unbroken segments of the VENONA intercepts in the same way, we wonder? (Of course, VENONA breaks relied on an entirely different set of circumstances than the application of computing power, but time marches onward..)