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*To*: [email protected]*Subject*: Re: Photuris Primality verification needed*From*: "Brian A. LaMacchia" <[email protected]>*Date*: Mon, 6 Nov 95 11:45:50 -0500*Cc*: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]*In-Reply-To*: <[email protected]> ([email protected])*Reply-To*: [email protected]*Sender*: [email protected]

X-Authentication-Warning: jekyll.piermont.com: Host localhost didn't use HELO protocol Cc: [email protected], [email protected] Reply-To: [email protected] X-Reposting-Policy: redistribute only with permission Date: Sun, 05 Nov 1995 11:07:25 -0500 From: "Perry E. Metzger" <[email protected]> Sender: [email protected] Precedence: bulk "William Allen Simpson" writes: > Folks, I was somewhat disappointed in the response to our previous > requests for verification of the strength of the prime moduli. > > Recently, someone asked for a smaller prime of only 512-bits for speed. > This is more than enough for the strength of keys needed for DES, 3DES, > MD5 and SHA. Perhaps this would be easier to have more complete and > robust verification as well. I think that this is a very large mistake. Allow me to explain why. La Macchia (sp?) and Odlyzko (sp?) have a very nice result which shows that once you've done enough precalculation on a particular modulus, you can break any subsequent Diffie-Hellman operation performed on that modulus with (for our purposes) no effort. 512 bits is, from what I can tell, not far out of the realm of possibility for what someone could try to crack with current machines given enough effort. Perry is correct; allow me to add some details. The discrete log problem is "brittle": for a given prime modulus p you have to spend a lot of effort to calculate the first discrete log modulo p, but subsequent discrete logs modulo p are easy to find. Basically, you (a) do a lot of precomputation to compute discrete logs for a set of small(-ish) primes, and then (b) you combine these to find the particular discrete log you're interested in. For the second (and subsequent) discrete logs modulo p you only have to do part (b), which is pretty easy. Our practical experiences with discrete logs suggests that the effort required to perform the discrete log precomputations in (a) is slightly more difficult than factoring a composite of the same size in bits. In 1990-91 we estimated that performing (a) for a k-bit prime modulus was about as hard as factoring a k+32-bit composite. [Recent factoring work has probably changed this a bit, but it's still a good estimate.] Finally, remember that if the modulus in your appliation is public and fixed (as it usually is) then you've got a very tempting target for me to attack. Once I do the precomputations I can break/subvert/read any particular D-H exchange I want for little additional effort. You have to consider the amount of effort someone might bring to bear against your entire system, not only against a particular transaction. Breaking a particular 512-bit RSA key might not be worth the effort if it just gets me your encrypted e-mail (or whatever), but a 512-bit D-H modulus in a widely deployed system is ripe for attack. See our paper (available from http://www-swiss.ai.mit.edu/~bal/) for all the juicy details. --bal

**References**:**Re: Photuris Primality verification needed***From:*"Perry E. Metzger" <[email protected]>

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