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Re: thoughts on RC4
> I wonder if the NSA would approve it? I think it was Bill Sommerfield
> who pointed out that it was a little curious that NSA approves RC4 with a
> 40 bit key when hardware-assisted search like the DES key cracker would
> appear to be impractical.
Actually, I'm not sure that it's that impractical, but I don't know a
heck of a lot about VLSI or hardware design. A fully pipelined chip
would require significantly more more chip area than the DES cracker,
but you probably don't need that. I'm pretty sure you could make a
blazingly fast, non-pipelined, chip with a "key setup" unit and then a
"trial encrypt" unit which run in parallel; you clock the key setup
unit 256 times to set up the key, then the key gets fed to the trial
encrypt unit where it gets tried against the known
Back of the envelope calculation: massively parallel RC4 cracker.
2**16 chips, cycled at 2**23 hz (8Mhz; fairly conservative),
one trial every 2**8 cycles per chip.
-> 2**31 trials per second.
-> with this hardware, you can break 40-bit RC4 in 256 seconds
on average (512 seconds worst case).