Rich Freeman on 17 Sep 2013 17:37:46 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] encryption

On Tue, Sep 17, 2013 at 2:30 PM, Doug Stewart <> wrote:
> The Math Is Still Secure:

Do you have a proof for that?   If not, it isn't actually math.  :)

The only thing that seems reasonably certain is that brute-forcing RSA
with reasonable key-lengths is probably impossible.  It is unlikely
that the NSA has access to hardware that is significantly faster in
conventional computation than what is available on the retail market.

What we don't know is if there is some fundamental weakness in RSA
that is unknown to the public, or if somebody has come up with a
practical solution for factoring keys.  If the NSA has a large quantum
computer, then they can trivially break RSA with even fairly large
keys.  Now, nobody has built a large quantum computer yet, but there
is enough stuff out there in the academic world that I'm not convinced
that a dedicated research team with a huge budget couldn't do it.  If
somebody has come up with a quantum solution for elliptic-curve-based
ciphers then that would basically take out every cryptography
technology that is known which doesn't require secure key exchange.
Secure key exchange between arbitrary strangers is a very tough
problem - we barely can handle key management with asymmetric crypto
these days.

Bringing this full circle, a wise man once said, "Anyone, from the
most clueless amateur to the best cryptographer, can create an
algorithm that he himself can't break."

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