At 01:54 PM 8/16/2010, Perry E. Metzger wrote:

On Mon, 16 Aug 2010 12:42:41 -0700 Paul Hoffman
<paul.hoff...@vpnc.org> wrote:
> At 11:35 AM +1000 8/16/10, Arash Partow wrote:
> >Just out of curiosity, assuming the optimal use of today's best of
> >breed factoring algorithms - will there be enough energy in our
> >solar system to factorize a 2048-bit RSA integer?
>
> We have no idea. The methods used to factor number continue to
> slowly get better,[...]

He asked about "today's best of breed algorithms", not future ones. In
that context, and assuming today's most energy efficient processors
rather than theoretical future processors, the question has a concrete
answer.

With today's best-of-breed algorithms and hardware designs,
there isn't enough money in the economy to build a machine
that comes close to making a scratch in the surface of
that kind of energy consumption, whether for factoring or
for simple destruction.
Basically, 2048's safe with current hardware
until we get some radical breakthrough
like P==NP or useful quantum computers,
and if we develop hardware radical enough to
use a significant fraction of the solar output,
we'll probably find it much easier to eavesdrop
on the computers we're trying to attack than to
crack the crypto.
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