768-bit RSA Encryption finally broken

January 8, 2010 by Steve Duncan     No Comments

It was only a matter of time before it happened, but a group of researchers have cracked the 768-bit RSA encryption.    An international team of cryptographers, scientists and mathematicians spent two-and-a-half years with hundreds of computers, and finally broke the encryption.  Just the first step of the computation took the equivalent of 1,500 years on one core of a x86 processor resulting in 5 terabytes of data.

The explanation of how the encryption was broken would give the most technical of us a headache, but the implications should be considered.  You would be hard pressed to find 768-bit encryption in use today, but 1024 bit encryption is widely used.  So how long before 1024-bit encryption is broken?  That timeline us up for debate .   While the effort will be 1,000 times more difficult than 768-bit, some believe it can be broken within ten years.

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