CU Amiga December 1997

RC5 cracked (News section)

The largest exercise in distributed computing has come to an end with the news that the 56 bit RC5 encryption algorithm from RSA labs has been hacked.

This privacy cypher took the combined computing power of the equivalent of over 20,000 top end personal computers 160 days to crack. Over 4000 teams contributed to the effort, and readers will be glad to know that the Amiga team effort was spectacularly successful.

RC5 Amiga, administered by Thomas Tavoly, ran for only 63 days but managed to achieve an amazing 7th place in the overall rankings, one place above the BT effort which started the previous day, and 30 places above the Microsoft effort. The table for average key rate, which represents the amount of computing power put into the effort and not the length of time the team had been working, puts the Amiga in 4th place.

The top team was Apple and the key was found by Peter Steuer of the Starlabs team after 47% of the keys had been checked.

Next on the agenda is the 64 bit encryption algorithm. At the present rate this should take 130 years, but computers keep getting faster. This time around PPC Amigas will be helping the effort! For more info visit

Amiga RC5 effort cracks top 10 (Surf's up section)

The Amiga RC5 cracking effort under the Bovine collective banner has rocketed up the charts to go crashing into the top 10 as we went to press.

This is an extraordinary effort by literally thousands of Amiga users who have acces to serious computing power be they Amigas or not. Current rate of cracking is in the region of 72 Mega keys per second.

That equates to an equivalent computing power of 600 50MHz 68060 machines working on the problem day and night.

If you would like to view the current statistics, check or join in the RC5 cracking effort yourself by going to

(Also included a picture of the Amiga RC5 stats page at ranking #9)

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

Back to Press page | Main page