gang uses crypto to hide identity theft databases

Peter Gutmann pgut001 at
Fri Dec 22 08:51:41 EST 2006

Jim Gellman <jim at> writes:
>Well this just sucks if you ask me.
>> According to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which confirmed that
>> Kostap had activated the encryption after being arrested, it would
>> have taken 400 computers twelve years to crack the code.
>Scales linearly, right?  4,800 computers'll get it in a year?

I don't think you can even apply that much analysis to it.  How exactly did
they come up with such a figure in the first place?  400 *what* computers?
TRS-80's?  Cray XT4's?  Does the encryption software come with a disclaimer
saying "if you forget your password, it'll take 400 computers 12 years to
recover your data"?  With that level of CPU power it sounds like it'd
something at the level of brute-forcing a 56-bit DES key (using a software-
only approach), which sounds like an odd algorithm to use if it's current
crypto software.  It sounds more like a quote for the media (or, more likely,
misreporting) than any real estimate of the effort involved.


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