RE: Steganography

From: Harvey Newstrom (
Date: Thu Sep 27 2001 - 14:50:30 MDT wrote,
> Louis Newstrom writes:
> > This is incorrect. A recent incident proved this. A
> government official
> > published a message in one of their "unbreakable" codes, and
> challenged the
> > hacker community to break it. Someone did only a few weeks later.

> I'm not familiar with this case, although it bears some similarity to
> various incidents that I've heard of. I don't know of a government
> challenge to break a code which was broken a few weeks later.

I don't know about this specific case, but this scenario has been repeated
so many times I don't know why people keep trying. Brute-force has been
used to crack "uncrackable" codes by combining thousands of Internet
computers over and over again. The network is running close
to 200Gigakeys per second!

Nothing is uncrackable these days, even with brute-force. Encryption is a
temporary solution at best. We must assume that at some date in the future
supercomputers or networks of computers will scan all Dejanews/Google
archives and decrypt all stored messages in the history of the Internet. No
one should send anything encrypted over the Internet that you don't want
read publicly in the future.

RC5 48bit Challenge, February 1997: (cracked in 13 days)

DES Challenge, June 1997: (cracked in 20 days)

RC5 56bit Challenge, October 1997: (cracked in 51 days)

DES Challenge II-1, February 1998: (cracked in 41 days)

ECC P97 Challenge, March 1998: (cracked in 53 days)

DES Challenge II-2, July 1998: (cracked in 56 hours)

DES Challenge III, January 1999: (cracked in 29 hours)

EC2 97 Challenge, September 1999: (cracked in 40 days)

The attempt to brute-force crack RC5 64-bit is currently underway:

About a dozen other brute-force cracking contests can be reviewed at:

Harvey Newstrom <>
Principal Security Consultant, Newstaff Inc. <>
Board of Directors, Extropy Institute <>
Cofounder, Pro-Act <>

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Fri Oct 12 2001 - 14:40:58 MDT