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Cracking DES: Secrets of Encryption Research, Wiretap Politics & Chip Design
Author: Foundation, Electronic Frontier
Section: Computers
Owner: riscphree (Rating: 0)
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Status: Available [Check Out]
Owner Review: From Amazon:

"In 1997, the Electronic Frontier Foundation announced an experiment. On a budget of $200,000, they blew the roof off of something that had long been suspected: the long-time United States Data Encryption Standard was not secure. This is something that had been suspected for some time. The original Lucifer encrypt that it had been based on had been designed by IBM with a 64-bit keyspace (quite large for the late 70s), but had been reduced to 56 bits, reducing the number of possible keys by two orders of magnitude. It was widely suspected that this was due to the NSA's desire that there not be a standard in the public domain that they couldn't crack; indeed, DES was slowly obsoleted over the years by ciphers like RSA and PGP. In 1997, it was announced that the EFF had created, using an array of custom chips, a relatively inexpensive system that was capable of a brute-force attack on DES, and came to the conclusion that such systems were probably already in the posession of not only the NSA (the largest purchaser of computing power in the world) but also numerous corporate and governmental entities that could afford to pay substantially less than the EFF paid for a technology that was likely not only available on the QT but quite mature.This book comes with everything needed to build a DES cracker -- operational notes, history, and even the VHDL code needed to build the custom chips and C code to control the chip array. This makes it of interest not only to cryptography researchers (who probably consider this book old news after seven years) but to those learning about hardware and embedded systems development; the extensive listings make for good study material. It's a worthwhile book to buy for anyone interested in privacy and cryptography concerns, though for the layperson Simon Singh's Code Book is probably a more general introduction to the issues involved."

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