What would you do if you hacked RSA?

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Mr. Beck
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Re: What would you do if you hacked RSA?

Postby Mr. Beck » Wed Mar 12, 2008 3:20 am UTC

I would bury the information, and do anything I could to find out whether anyone else had cracked it. Freedom needs good crypto in this age (Then again, I encrypt nothing. Nothing to hide I guess.)
rrwoods wrote:I don't know. I'd probably post somewhere, asking for advice on what to do in the "hypothetical" situation that I'd cracked RSA. Preferably in a forum where the vast majority of the population can be assumed to even know what RSA is.

Wins my Humor Award For The Day :mrgreen: .
Last edited by Mr. Beck on Thu Mar 13, 2008 8:54 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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odayjuarez
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Re: What would you do if you hacked RSA?

Postby odayjuarez » Wed Mar 12, 2008 9:02 pm UTC

Mr. Beck wrote:I would bury the information, and do anything I could to find out whether anyone else had cracked it. Freedom needs good crypto in this age.
(Em mine)

Maybe I've not understood your post, but why bury the information? I agree with your statement that freedom needs good cryptography, but keeping the crack a secret means that people will continue to use "unsafe" encryption. Of course there's every possibility that RSA is "unsafe" already, but if I happened to crack it I'd probably try to make it public knowledge somehow. At least that way people far smarter than me can try to come up with something better!
Donald Knuth wrote:Beware of bugs in the above code; I have only proved it correct, not tried it.

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skeptical scientist
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Re: What would you do if you hacked RSA?

Postby skeptical scientist » Wed Mar 12, 2008 9:23 pm UTC

Seconded. I agree that freedom needs good crypto, but to make sure that people have good crypto, it's better to reveal insecurities so that people can switch to more secure cyphers than to hide an insecurity in the hope that nobody else will find it.
I'm looking forward to the day when the SNES emulator on my computer works by emulating the elementary particles in an actual, physical box with Nintendo stamped on the side.

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Mr. Beck
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Re: What would you do if you hacked RSA?

Postby Mr. Beck » Thu Mar 13, 2008 8:54 pm UTC

odayjuarez wrote: Mr. Beck wrote:I would bury the information, and do anything I could to find out whether anyone else had cracked it. Freedom needs good crypto in this age.

(Em mine)

Maybe I've not understood your post, but why bury the information? I agree with your statement that freedom needs good cryptography, but keeping the crack a secret means that people will continue to use "unsafe" encryption. Of course there's every possibility that RSA is "unsafe" already, but if I happened to crack it I'd probably try to make it public knowledge somehow. At least that way people far smarter than me can try to come up with something better!

Hmmm... that makes a lot of sense. What I was thinking was that if I published the "solution", everyone's mail would be public instantly. The concept behind looking into other's being able to decode RSA is that I could alert the public if it was not secure. Now that I think about it, that makes no sense. The very act of me cracking it would make the code insecure. If I were to publish, but not reveal how, that would spur a lot of research into stronger public crypto. However, I would have to publish en masse and anonymously, otherwise government intervention would be a serious concern. Then again, saying I had cracked it might very well lead to another replicating my results before we had developed accordingly stronger codes, thus defeating the goal of the exercise.
Out of curiosity, just how much brute-forcing would be needed to crack an average keystring? If, suppose, all of folding@home were to wok on one, could it be cracked in reasonable length of time?

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Re: What would you do if you hacked RSA?

Postby notzeb » Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:59 pm UTC

Why does everyone always assume that someone else would instantly break RSA if told that it was breakable?

If I decided to be ethical about the whole thing (fat chance!), I'd just win myself the RSA factoring challenges several times in a row until people figured it out. Just for the laughs, though, I'd pretend that my algorithm was to randomly guess factors until one worked. Later, I'd encrypt a pseudo-random number generator algorithm (that "just happens" to output the answers to the RSA factoring challenges early on) with RSA and publish it along with the public key used to encrypt it, so that when RSA is finally broken by someone else, they still wouldn't know if I really had a method or not.
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gordy
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Re: What would you do if you hacked RSA?

Postby gordy » Sun Mar 16, 2008 6:36 am UTC

I would host an underground, nefarious auction. Invite only the world's most elite super-villains, perhaps to an ice-castle in Iceland. The invitation would be signed by their very own private keys as proof of the goods.

The solution goes to the highest bidder of course (so long as no British spies show up).


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