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Author Topic: the ability to crack current public encryption.  (Read 5023 times)
blurden
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March 18, 2012, 10:19:01 PM
 #1

The plan was launched in 2004 as a modern-day Manhattan Project. Dubbed the High Productivity Computing Systems program, its goal was to advance computer speed a thousandfold, creating a machine that could execute a quadrillion (1015) operations a second, known as a petaflop—the computer equivalent of breaking the land speed record. And as with the Manhattan Project, the venue chosen for the supercomputing program was the town of Oak Ridge in eastern Tennessee, a rural area where sharp ridges give way to low, scattered hills, and the southwestward-flowing Clinch River bends sharply to the southeast. About 25 miles from Knoxville, it is the “secret city” where uranium- 235 was extracted for the first atomic bomb. A sign near the exit read: what you see here, what you do here, what you hear here, when you leave here, let it stay here. Today, not far from where that sign stood, Oak Ridge is home to the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and it’s engaged in a new secret war. But this time, instead of a bomb of almost unimaginable power, the weapon is a computer of almost unimaginable speed.
 
At the DOE’s unclassified center at Oak Ridge, work progressed at a furious pace, although it was a one-way street when it came to cooperation with the closemouthed people in Building 5300. Nevertheless, the unclassified team had its Cray XT4 supercomputer upgraded to a warehouse-sized XT5. Named Jaguar for its speed, it clocked in at 1.75 petaflops, officially becoming the world’s fastest computer in 2009.
 
Meanwhile, over in Building 5300, the NSA succeeded in building an even faster supercomputer. “They made a big breakthrough,” says another former senior intelligence official, who helped oversee the program. The NSA’s machine was likely similar to the unclassified Jaguar, but it was much faster out of the gate, modified specifically for cryptanalysis and targeted against one or more specific algorithms, like the AES. In other words, they were moving from the research and development phase to actually attacking extremely difficult encryption systems. The code-breaking effort was up and running.
 
The breakthrough was enormous, says the former official, and soon afterward the agency pulled the shade down tight on the project, even within the intelligence community and Congress. “Only the chairman and vice chairman and the two staff directors of each intelligence committee were told about it,” he says. The reason? “They were thinking that this computing breakthrough was going to give them the ability to crack current public encryption.”

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/%E2%80%9Cwe-are-far-turnkey-totalitarian-state-big-brother-goes-live-september-2013
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cypherdoc
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March 18, 2012, 10:23:30 PM
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Can we post this article ten more times please?
blurden
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March 18, 2012, 10:25:13 PM
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zerohedge was just highlighting some of the good stuff. its in wired april - cover story i believe.
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March 18, 2012, 10:32:54 PM
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...or were you saying that because it has been posted a lot already? admittedly, i didn't check before i posted.
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March 18, 2012, 10:52:16 PM
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the wired article is here:
http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/03/ff_nsadatacenter/all/1
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March 18, 2012, 10:53:36 PM
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there are already 2 threads regarding same article on Discussion.
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March 18, 2012, 10:57:47 PM
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searching but not coming up with much. care to link?
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March 18, 2012, 11:09:53 PM
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https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=69178

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marcus_of_augustus
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March 18, 2012, 11:51:18 PM
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Can we post this article ten more times please?

... and you get to bitch about it being posted ten more times, ten more times? ... no thanks.

Why don't you put yourself up for moderator if you feel the need to be policeman so badly?

cypherdoc
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March 18, 2012, 11:57:19 PM
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Can we post this article ten more times please?

... and you get to bitch about it being posted ten more times, ten more times? ... no thanks.

Why don't you put yourself up for moderator if you feel the need to be policeman so badly?

LOL!
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March 19, 2012, 12:00:30 AM
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Can we post this article ten more times please?

... and you get to bitch about it being posted ten more times, ten more times? ... no thanks.

Why don't you put yourself up for moderator if you feel the need to be policeman so badly?

LOL!

At the DOE’s unclassified center at Oak Ridge, work progressed at a furious pace, although it was a one-way street when it came to cooperation with the closemouthed people in Building 5300. Nevertheless, the unclassified team had its Cray XT4 supercomputer upgraded to a warehouse-sized XT5. Named Jaguar for its speed, it clocked in at 1.75 petaflops, officially becoming the world’s fastest computer in 2009.

Meanwhile, over in Building 5300, the NSA succeeded in building an even faster supercomputer. “They made a big breakthrough,” says another former senior intelligence official, who helped oversee the program. The NSA’s machine was likely similar to the unclassified Jaguar, but it was much faster out of the gate, modified specifically for cryptanalysis and targeted against one or more specific algorithms, like the AES. In other words, they were moving from the research and development phase to actually attacking extremely difficult encryption systems. The code-breaking effort was up and running.

The breakthrough was enormous, says the former official, and soon afterward the agency pulled the shade down tight on the project, even within the intelligence community and Congress. “Only the chairman and vice chairman and the two staff directors of each intelligence committee were told about it,” he says. The reason? “They were thinking that this computing breakthrough was going to give them the ability to crack current public encryption.”


So can you hazard an answer if NSA are routinely cracking AES?? ... the point of question before you stuck your oar in and diverted the conversation ....

cypherdoc
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March 19, 2012, 12:03:07 AM
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can't you understand that there is already a thread started on this subject from yesterday?  there was no conversation going on in this thread:

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=69178.msg806495#msg806495
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March 19, 2012, 12:07:37 AM
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can't you understand that there is already a thread started on this subject from yesterday?  there was no conversation going on in this thread:

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=69178.msg806495#msg806495

It was different question, for a different topic ... or didn't you read the forum properly?

The article is long and many faceted. There are several (actually many) topics in there relevant to bitcoin that could be discussed separately .... the other discussion was a lame "gee whiz", "but who cares" meandering thread with no topic in the OP that I could discern.... animated chanesque pictures of blondes to boot.

Thanks for being the concerned bitcoin web citizen though, we are all richer for it!

cypherdoc
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March 19, 2012, 12:21:28 AM
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can't you understand that there is already a thread started on this subject from yesterday?  there was no conversation going on in this thread:

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=69178.msg806495#msg806495

It was different question, for a different topic ... or didn't you read the forum properly?

The article is long and many faceted. There are several (actually many) topics in there relevant to bitcoin that could be discussed separately .... the other discussion was a lame "gee whiz", "but who cares" meandering thread with no topic in the OP that I could discern.... animated chanesque pictures of blondes to boot.

Thanks for being the concerned bitcoin web citizen though, we are all richer for it!

it wasn't a different question.  the OP already said he was surprised that there was a reference to this article already posted and there is only a quoted passage in the post; no question.

all this is quibbling so why don't we just consolidate all discussions relating to this article in the original thread like we usually do?
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March 19, 2012, 12:35:32 AM
 #15

1000x wow, so now we need 16 more bits or something to get the same security.

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March 19, 2012, 12:42:20 AM
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Some botnets have more than petaflop of procesing power and you can rent them for less than 100 bitcoins per 24 hours. Unlike the nuclear bomb that was urgently needed in war, the so called supercomputers are used to pump out the funds from national budget to build impressive but extremely expensive gizmos.

No NSA can break 256bit AES by brute force.

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marcus_of_augustus
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March 19, 2012, 01:17:20 AM
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No NSA can break 256bit AES by brute force.

That statement is slightly ambiguous (especially if you have omitted a comma) ... do you think NSA can or cannot break AES?

I agree with the boondoggle aspect of these huge govt. projects. Also the inevitable centralised nature of the resulting installations is cringeworthy.

Looking at the schematics here, it would only take a simple failure or attack on either the chillers (6) or the power substations (7) to render the entire complex useless.




.... a botnet or bitcoin is mush more resilient in that sense. Now if bitcoin hashing function could be homeomorphic to AES cracking ....

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March 19, 2012, 01:26:00 AM
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AES might contain yet undisclosed mathematical flaw that renders the encryption next to useless. Actually from all three symmetric ciphers I consider 100% safe (Serpent, Twofish, AES), the AES have the greatest potential to contain undiscovered flaws.

But I'm 99,99999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999999% sure that NSA cannot search in reasonable time the entire 256-bit keyspace to rediscover key used for encryption. Or even the 50% of keyspace to get 50% chance of success. The laws of physics and thermodynamics makes this impossible.

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March 19, 2012, 02:35:29 AM
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I'm 99.lotsofnines% certain that the NSA can't brute force even a 128-bit key.  Assuming they can try 1 trillion keys per second - that's 1 million machines each making 1 million tries per second which is probably a reasonable guess of their abilities - it would still take 2^128 / (1T * seconds_per_year) = 10^16 years.  Take a few zeroes off the end if you want to be really paranoid.

The only reason you need better than 128-bit is if quantum crypto becomes available, AND can perform Shor's Algorithm fast (like, 1 billion ops per second).  In that case it could crack 128-bit in a few hundred years.  If that scares you, use 256-bit which will simply never be brute-forced.

Most likely this new datacenter is for a) breaking weak keys (like if you seed your deterministic wallet from a short passphrase), which isn't really news - everyone already assumes they're able to do that; or b) data mining non-encrypted information, which shouldn't come as any surprise - I'd be shocked if this isn't just an expansion of an existing project, or c) other NSA stuff that doesn't involve brute-forcing 128+ bit keys.

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March 19, 2012, 02:53:11 AM
 #20

Oh, as for breaking AES by non-brute force:  no, I don't think they can.  AES is pretty good - not the best (Serpent probably had the best overall security of the finalists, but it came in second for performance reasons), but it's still a top-tier algorithm, and it has held up for a decade with no significant full-rounds attacks.  The best so far lets you break AES-128 in 2^126.1 operations.

It's always possible the NSA has something they're not telling us, but in the past they have chosen security over being able to decrypt others' communications:  when DES was adopted they modified it a little to protect against differential cryptanalysis, which was not publicly known at the time.  There's too much to lose by blindly hoping that the Bad Guys won't find the bug - AES is certified to protect Top-Secret information.  I would expect them to start the process for a new algorithm if the existing standard was found insecure.

      War is God's way of teaching Americans geography.  --Ambrose Bierce
Bitcoin is the Devil's way of teaching geeks economics.  --Revalin 165YUuQUWhBz3d27iXKxRiazQnjEtJNG9g
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