CU Amiga November 1997

Amiga RC5 effort (Surf's Up section)

The RSA Secret Key Challenge is a competition from the American RSA cryptography company to prove that the current encryption schemes are insufficient for the Net. The US government endorsed DES encryption standard was cracked early on by the 1997 Secret Key Challenge. This involves RSA offering prize money for cracking the key. From here, collaborating efforts arise on the Net which co-ordinate the CPU horsepower from many computers towards a brute force cracking effort.

While DES has been cracked, the RC5 algorithm is next under attack for a total prize money of $10,000. The leading effort to crack this RC5 key challenge is the Bovine group. Bovine is a multi-platform, multi-client effort which has the Amiga well represented.

There is an Amiga version of the cracking client but due to the astronomical quantity of CPU power required, the Amiga RC5 team is more of an exercise in Amiga users pooling resources, usually other computers with extremely powerful CPUs.

CU Amiga Magazine has a variety of Power Macintosh's and 68060 based Amigas contributing over 2 million checked keys a second. CU Amiga is just one company devoting CPU power to the Amiga RC5 effort, greater still is the huge number of Amiga individuals which has pushed the Amiga up to #6 in the daily statistics and 67 overall. The Amiga RC5 team was still climbing quickly as we went to press.

To contribute yourself, check out the Amiga RC5 team home page and the other relevant pages. Here's a list. [..]

Net God speaks (Net God column)

I don't need to remind Amiga users that even the most powerful 68060 based machines don't compare favourably to the latest PCs and workstations. At least not in the CPU stakes. This in mind, it seems strange that there would be an Amiga team entered into the RC5 Secret Key challenge. Until you consider that the Amiga RC5 team is actually a study in the Amiga Net community and its ability to pool resources and organise a common campaign.

All around the world, Amiga users are behind University and Work mainframes, to the Amiga RC5 cracking effort. Hundreds more Amiga users have their Amigas chugging away at the RC5 cracking client in the background. All this is before the Bovine RC5 cracking client is ported to the PowerPC which is due before you read this.

If the Amiga can reach #6 in the daily stats with CPUs that are several years behind, imagine what they could do with PowerPCs. It's heartening to see the Amiga Net community stands together for a common goal. Give us the next generation hardware and there'll be no stopping us!

Thanks to Magnus Lindgren from Karlstad, Sweden (Einstein on #amiga) for typing both pieces up

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