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The clock is ticking for encryption

by
March 22, 2011
Cyber Security, FedCyber Wire
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via ComputerWorld

In the indictment that led to the expulsion of 10 Russian spies from the U.S. last summer, the FBI said that it had gained access to their encrypted communications after surreptitiously entering one of the spies’ homes, where agents found a piece of paper with a 27-character password.

In the indictment that led to the expulsion of 10 Russian spies from the U.S. last summer, the FBI said that it had gained access to their encrypted communications after surreptitiously entering one of the spies’ homes, where agents found a piece of paper with a 27-character password.

In essence, the FBI found it more productive to burglarize a house than to crack a 216-bit code, despite having the computational resources of the U.S. government behind it. That’s because modern cryptography, when used correctly, is very strong. Cracking an encrypted message can take an incredibly long time.

The scale of the encryption-cracking challenge

Today’s encryption algorithms can be broken. Their security derives from the wildly impractical lengths of time it can take to do so.

More here.