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Subject: ANNOUNCE: 2nd SSL challenge - we need your compute!


[a copy of final announce, start time 18:00 GMT, tomorrow (Thu), as
posted to a list of USENET groups]

This is a request for idle compute time for the brute force of Hal's
second SSL challenge.

You will likely have read about the brute force crack of a netscape
SSL session by Damien Doligez <[email protected]>, which was
widely covered in the media, and much discussed in this (and other)

Damien has information on his breaking of the 1st challenge at:


Hal Finney <[email protected]> has now issued a 2nd challenge,
the aim with this challenge is to demonstrate in how short a time an
export SSL key can be broken.  ie not how soon, but how *quickly* from
start to finish (note the distinction), so for this reason we are
constructing a virtual start line, and the virtual start gun will fire

	Thu Aug 24 at 18:00 GMT

If you are interested to join in, please obtain the sources / binaries
for your system in preparation for the start.  (Even if you are after
the start, join in as it will take a while).

Piete Brooks <[email protected]> wrote and is hosting the socket server,
and WWW pages, see this URL for the socket client and brute forcing
software, and WWW forms interface key doler:


ftp archive (software available by both WWW and ftp):


Prize fund - donate c$ for the prize

I have set up a prize fund in c$ (digicash ecash) to add a bit of fun
to the proceedings, and stimulate interest in DigiCash (the best ecash
on the planet IMO).

The prize fund at time of writing is c$ 292.30, and the winner will be
the person who hits the key.  The person who gets the prize will be
encouraged to participate in the ecash market to cash the money in, to
increase cash flow (there is currently a shortage of c$ sellers), and
to avoid taking the cash out of circluation.

Give your c$ donations for the prize fund here:


(or via email: shop-id: SSL-prize-fund, account-id: [email protected])

The (unofficial) digicash exchange:


Sign up for the Digicash trial (get c$ 100 free on opening account):


A couple of things to note, the ecash exchange is not affiliated with
digicash, it is an experiment setup by digicash enthousiasts to allow
a floating exchange mechanism for buying and selling c$.  The other
thing to note is that exchange rate is currently (from the exchange
above) about 100 c$ = 5 US $.

Compiling for some platforms required

We are currently lacking a DOS only version of the BRUTESSL.EXE, this
is complicated by the fact that Andrew Roos <[email protected]>
has 32 bit 80x86 assembly speedups as well as a generic C version in
his brutessl application which makes it tricky to get a 32 bit
application.  (Oh for standard flat 32 bit UNIX).  Apparently it is
possible using the Pharlap DOS extender software, so if anyone is able
to help with this, please contact Piete or myself (Adam).

Also (an easier task!) could someone compile a 16 bit one, which we
can use to fall back on if the above doesn't work.  I did this myself,
but my PC HD has probs of it's own at the moment, all you have to do
is edit search.c brutessl.h brutessl.c lightly to fix up the macro for
rotate left (makes a difference if your compiler supports it), and to
make sure that the typedef (I think in brutessl.h) is set up so that
word = a long.  Don't use the assembly.c but rather the generic C
version search.c, that'll make things easier.

Any platforms you would like to see pre-compiled binaries for, send
them along, the source code is available from the ftp, and http
addresses above.  A MAC binary would be nice also.

More technical things... skip unless you're interested

The socket server which will be doling out the keys is running on:


but you shouldn't need to know that unless you like to know what's
going on the client software is wired to use this by default.

There is an draft RFC like specification for the SMTP like protocol
which the client and server use to talk to each other (SKSP = Simple
Key Searching Protocol):


Who's doing what (who to complain to about things not working :-)

Hal Finney	Issued challenge 1 and 2
Piete Brooks	hosting www, and socket server, author of unix socket code
Andrew Roos	wrote brutessl app
Andy Brown	wrote windows NT client & protocol spec with Piete
Adam Back	general software questions, prize fund ecash shop

Damien Doligez	Broke 1st challenge
Eric Young	\ independently broke 1st challenge also
David Byers	/

Mark Grant	WWW Ecash exchange

email / www for those poeple:

Hal Finney <[email protected]> 	  http://www.portal.com/~hfinney/
Andy Brown <[email protected]>
Piete Brooks <[email protected]> 		  http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/users/pb/
Adam Back <[email protected]> 		  http://dcs.ex.ac.uk/~aba/
Andrew Roos <[email protected]>
Damien Doligez <[email protected]>  http://pauillac.inria.fr/~doligez/
Eric Young <[email protected]>
David Byers <[email protected]>
Mark Grant <[email protected]>	  http://www.c2.org/~mark/

(also lots of other people have offered compute time, and / or
contributed technical advice / bug reports etc)

Adam Back <[email protected]>
Piete Brooks <[email protected]>

Version: 2.6.2i