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Large factoring attempt on RSA-129


In 1977, a 129-digit integer appeared in the pages of Scientific
American.  This number, the RSA challenge modulus or RSA-129, has not
yet been successfully factored.  Factoring it, a 425-bit number, would
be a major milestone in cryptography, as it would show that current
technology is able to break commonly-used RSA-cryptosystem keys within
a reasonable time.

Excerpted from the RSA Factoring Challenge news:

The "RSA challenge" published in the August 1977 issue of Scientific
American (in Martin Gardner's column) is still open, and the $100
prize offer still stands.  This prize can be won by factoring the RSA
modulus published there, which is:

RSA-129 = 11438162575788886766923577997614661201021829672124236256256184
          43541 (129 digits, checksum = 105443)

--- End of RSA Factoring Challenge news ---

As with several other recent large scale factoring projects, we propose to
attack this number with a very large number of workstations independently
operating at dozens of research and corporate networks around the world.  We
are soliciting volunteers to provide compute cycles to help us towards our

With the permission of the authors, we will use the publicly available code of
the Lenstra/Manasse Factoring by Email project, with modifications by Paul
Leyland for RSA-129.  The sieving will be distributed around the Internet,
with relations transferred to a central site by email or ftp as convenient.
Combining the relations and matrix elimination will be performed at ISU, using
a combination of structured Gauss and a MasPar dense matrix eliminator.

Each participant will be provided with complete source code for the siever.
You can easily verify that the program takes no input from your machines and
does not pose a security risk.  It requires only an email connection to
transmit partial results -- the software does not require communication with
other machines except for this purpose.  It is easy to install, and is
designed so that it will take up no CPU cycles on your machine when
interactive users or other important processes are active.  If preferred,
participants can accumulate the results locally and ftp them to the central
site manually.

The project currently has around 500 workstations which are ready to begin
sieving.  However, to finish in a reasonable amount of time, this count needs
to increase greatly.  We are attempting to enroll around 10,000 workstations
in this project.

This is a call for participants, who have workstations or MasPars at their
disposal and would like to participate in this project.  All contributions
help a great deal.

There is a $100 prize associated with factoring this number.  The prize, if we
win it, will be donated to the GNU project of the Free Software Foundation to
help generate more of the excellent software they currently provide.

For more information, please mail [email protected]  We will respond
to all questions quickly.

--Michael Graff  [project coordinator/programmer]
--Derek Atkins   [coordinator/programmer]
--Paul Leyland   [advisor/programmer]
--Daniel Ashlock [faculty advisor ISU]