Intelligence: April 4, 2002

Archives

Currently, 1024 bit RSA cryptography is considered uncrackable by any practical means. That is, until researchers showed how a specialized computing system could be built using existing components (at a cost of about a billion dollars), that could quickly decrypt 1024 bit RSA codes. With access to microchip design and manufacturing capabilities, specialized microprocessors could be built that would bring down the cost of the decryption system to under a hundred million dollars. This decryption technology (which no one is known to be building yet) could be defeated by moving to 2048 bit codes (which no one is doing yet either.) The government agencies that break codes (like the American NSA), are very secretive, and are generally believed to possess code breaking capabilities they would rather keep quiet (lest opponents increase the difficulty of their codes and make them unbreakable.) These organizations are also well funded. A billion dollars for a code breaking system would be affordable for the NSA and other major nations like China. The current use of 1024 bit codes has not changed because of this debate, although many cryptography experts have long felt that more powerful codes would eventually be needed. The current debate is not about if 1024 bit codes can easily be cracked, but when.

 


Article Archive

Intelligence: Current 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close