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Brute Force


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Table of Contents

Contents Introduction 1. 90MHZ Pentium 2. Data Encryption Standard 3. Key Length 3.1 Symmetric Cryptography 3.2 Codes 3.3. Susceptibility to Brute Force Attacks 3.4 Substitution Ciphers 3.5 Asymetric Cryptography 4. RSA Crypto Challenge 5. Law Enforcement Concerns 6. Supercomputer 7. Show Me the Code 8. Project Follows Code 9. Organizing DESCHALL 10. Announcing DESCHALL 11. Getting Attention 12. Front Running 13. Haystack 14. Clients 14.1 Verser DES Key Search Method 14.2 More Speed for Intel 15. Architecture 15.1 Boot Disks 15.2 Client Management 15.3 Dialup Users 15.3.1. Dialup in Windows 15.3.2. Dialup in OS/2 16. Every Machine Counts 17. Competition 18. Summer Vacation 19. 100% CPU 20.Transition 21. Requests 22. Perseverance 23. Network 24. Download 25. SolNET 26. Get Off Your Duff 27. Short Circuit 28. Media 29. Volume 30. Too Much Is Never Enough 31. Proposal 32. In the Lead 33. Recruit 34. SolNET Drops Off 35. Threats 36. Crypto News 37. Rivalry 38. Overdrive 39. Disturbed 40. Back Door 41. Second Stage 42. Obstacle 43. DESGUI 44. Export 45. Keeping It Together 46. Getting Word Out 47. No DESCHALL Here 48. Schedule 49. SolNET Stumbles 50. A Few Hundred Clients 51. New Statistics 52. Bitslice 53. Crypto Battle 54. SolNET Recovers 55. Server Outrage 56. SGI 57. Netlag 58. Terminal Velocity 59. Photoshoot 60. Integrity 61. Workaround 62. Morale 63.Strong Cryptography Makes the World a Safer Place 64. Talking Head 65. Effect 66. Saying the Course 67. Five Years Later 68. Next Steps 68.1 Other Stuff A DESCHALL Press Release


From the reviews:

An excellent story about the thousands of volunteers who battled to prove that the aging standard for date encryption was too weak and to wrestle strong cryptography from the control of the U.S. government...It is a worthy book for almost anyone who has a computer.

-Louis Kruh, Cryptologia, Volume 30, 2006

Brute Force is about as entertaining a read as you will get on cryptography. It provides a detailed account of how DES was taken down and is an interesting read for any student of cryptography and the crypto wars of the 1990s.

-Ben Rothke,, September 2005

Matt Curtin was right at the heart of the Deschall cracking effort, and his book is excellent in describing the day-to-day progress towards the goal...

-Richard Clayton, Times Higher Education Supplement (U.K.), October 2005

"This book is an exciting popular account of an important event nearly ten years ago in the social history of cryptography. ... The book is written to tell the story of how the DESCHALL (Des challenge) project came together, to encourage interest in cryptography amongst the young and to make the subject more accessible to people. It would seem to be successful on all counts." (P. D. F. Ion, Mathematical Reviews, Issue 2006 j)

"DESCHALL's goal was to search through 72 quadrillion keys to demonstrate the feasibility of a brute force attack on DES ... . Curtin starts with the genesis of DES ... . he manages to keep interest alive with a taut but lively prose, a focus on the human element of the story ... . the non-technical reader will appreciate the evocative similes ... . Perhaps most intriguing in Curtin's narrative are ... the human and social aspect of divvying up the workload ... ." (Daniel Bilar, MathDL, November, 2005)

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