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BW: Global Effort Solves Elliptic Curve Crypto Challenge...

Sep 28, 1999, 15:00 (0 Talkback[s])

"Irish mathematician Robert Harley announced today the solution to the seventh and most difficult Certicom ECC Challenge problem so far. The solution was arrived at by 195 volunteers in 20 countries after 40 days of calculation distributed on 740 computers."

"This computation, coordinated from INRIA (the French National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Control), has confirmed theoretical predictions that a 97-bit code based on elliptic curves is harder to break than a 512-bit code based on factorization such as RSA (Rivest-Shamir-Adleman). "Our results increase confidence in codes based on properly-chosen elliptic curves, and should be taken into account in standards for Internet security," said Mr. Harley..."

"The "ECC2-97 problem" involved a set of nearly 10 to the 29th points on an elliptic curve chosen by Certicom. The participants attacked ECC2-97 by calculating 119,248,522,782,547 (well over 10 to the 14th) of the points using open-source software developed by Mr. Harley. Of these, 127,492 "distinguished" points were filtered out and collected on an Alpha Linux workstation at INRIA near Versailles, France. A final phase of processing selected two matching points and, using some attached information, calculated the solution to the challenge thereby delivering the coup de grace to the most difficult elliptic curve problem ever."

Complete Press Release

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