----- Original Message ----- From: "Joseph Ashwood" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Friday, February 18, 2005 3:11 AM


[the attack is reasonable]

Reading through the summary I found a bit of information that means my estimates of workload have to be re-evaluated. Page 1 "Based on our estimation, we expect that real collisions of SHA1 reduced to 70-steps can be found using todays supercomputers." This is a very important statement for estimating the real workload, assuming there is an implicit "in one year" in there, and assuming BlueGene (Top 500 list slot 1) this represents 22937.6 GHz*years, or slightly over 2^69 clock cycles, I am obviously still using gigahertz because information gives us nothing better to work from. This clearly indicates that the operations used for the workload span multiple processor clocks, and performing a gross estimation based on pure guesswork I'm guessing that my numbers are actually off by a factor of between 50 and 500, this factor will likely work cleanly in either adjusting the timeframe or production cost.

My suggestion though to make a switch away from SHA-1 as soon as reasonable, and to prepare to switch hashes very quickly in the future remains the same, the march of processor progress is not going to halt, and the advance of cryptographic attacks will not halt which will inevitably squeeze SHA-1 to broken. I would actually argue that the 2^80 strength it should have is enough to begin its retirement, 2^80 has been "strong enough" for a decade in spite of the march of technology. Under the processor speed enhancements that have happened over the last decade we should have increased the keylength already to accomodate for dual core chips running at 20 times the speed for a total of 40 times the prior speed (I was going to use Spec data for a better calculation but I couldn'd immediately find specs for a Pentium Pro 200) by adding at least 5 bits preferrably 8 to our necessary protection profile.
Joe



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