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Cost to Crack Keys

At 4:45 PM 8/17/95, Rev. Mark Grant wrote:
>>      In this case he had to use roughly
>>      $10,000 worth of computing power (ballpark figure for having access to
>>      120 workstations and a few parallel supecomputers for 8 days) to break
>>      a single message.
>Hmm, I don't know about anyone else around here, but my workstation is
>idle 99% of the time. I could almost certainly get access to all the spare
>CPU cycles on 120 workstations for free, and I suspect that a lot of
>people (particularly hackers) could do so as well. There's no need to
>spend $ 10,000 on renting them.

But, Mark, estimates of the cost to crack a key _must_ be based on market
prices, not on opportunistic access to machines. Such access is good for
occasional, or one-shot, deals, but not for routine use.

For example, one doesn't say "Hey, I don't see how Hertz can charge $40 a
day to rent a car...my friend lets me use his for free."

The technical issues of whether there are faster ways to break the keys, or
how fast and far MIPS prices will drop, is a separate issue.

"Standard accounting practices" dictate the way to estimate production costs.

--Tim May

Timothy C. May            | Crypto Anarchy: encryption, digital money,
[email protected] (Got net?)  | anonymous networks, digital pseudonyms, zero
408-728-0152              | knowledge, reputations, information markets,
Corralitos, CA            | black markets, collapse of governments.
Higher Power: 2^756839    | Public Key: PGP and MailSafe available.
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