Cringely Gives KnowNow Some Unbelievable Free Press... (fwd)

Robert Harley
Wed, 27 Feb 2002 05:38:29 +0100 (CET)


Dude, don't bother buzzing when you're WRONG!

>"The methods described in the paper [] can be used to improve the
>cost of cracking EC discrete logs as well. The author, in a recent Usenet
>posting [], points out that the paper's methods are likely to
>reduce the cost/effort of EC key cracking as well ... perhaps even more than
>RSA key factoring."

The author points out nothing of the sort.  Here is the entire
relevant piece of text:

>I'd also like to emphasize that special-purpose hardware is useful for
>much more than factorization. In fact, it's much easier to reduce cost
>this way for secret-key cryptanalysis or elliptic-curve discrete log
>than for factorization.

He is merely pointing out the obvious fact that special-purpose
hardware can reduce the cost of any large-scale computation, all the
more so for ones that do not have two quite different phases like the
NFS algorithm.

Cost estimates of special-purpose hardware attacks on EC discrete logs
have been done for years and have NOT changed.  Cost estimates of
special-purpose hardware for RSA cracking have been done for years and
have suddenly changed dramatically for the worse.

The paper's methods are NOT AT ALL "likely to reduce the cost/effort
of EC key cracking".  They constitute far more than "what you get when
you let a crypto guy take an engineering class".  This is not a mere
hardware implementation of known algorithms, for Christ's sake!  It is
a new asymptotically much faster variant of NFS along with a new
clever hardware design.  And it is specifically for smoothness sieving
and matrix computations in NFS.  It hurts RSA.  It might well be
extended to finite field logarithms, but NOT to elliptic-curve
logarithms.  They are fundamentally different.

It's so easy to shoot your mouth off, isn't it? 

>EC is probably in trouble too.

EC is NOT in trouble. 

>And with so much active research into EC, you can bet there are many
>more surprises in store.
>"it's the patents stupid"

Bla bla bla.

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