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In the 1960s, it became increasingly clear that more and more information was going to be stored on computers, not on pieces of paper. With these changes in technology and the ways it was used came a need to protect both the systems and the information. For the next ten years, encryption systems of varying strengths were developed, but none proved to be rigorous enough. In 1973, the NBS put out an open call for a new, stronger encryption system that would become the new federal standard. Several years later, IBM responded with a system called Lucifer that came to simply be known as DES (data encryption standard).
The strength of an encryption system is best measured by the attacks it is able to withstand, and because DES was the federal standard, many tried to test its limits. (It should also be noted that a number of cryptographers and computer scientists told the NSA that DES was not nearly strong enough and would be easily hacked.) Rogue hackers, usually out to steal as much information as possible, tried to break DES. A number of "white hat" hackers also tested the system and reported on their successes. Still others attacked DES because they believed it had outlived its effectiveness and was becoming increasingly vulnerable. The sum total of these efforts to use all of the possible keys to break DES over time made for a brute force attack.
In 1996, the supposedly uncrackable DES was broken. In this captivating and intriguing book, Matt Curtin charts DES’s rise and fall and chronicles the efforts of those who were determined to master it.
Content Level »Popular/general
Keywords »code - cryptography - data encryption - encryption - hacking - information - technology
Contents Introduction 1. 90MHZ Pentium 2. Data Encryption Standard 3. Key Length 3.1 Symmetric Cryptography 3.2 Codes 3.3. Susceptibility to Brute Force Attacks 3.4 Substitution Ciphers 3.5 Asymetric Cryptography 4. RSA Crypto Challenge 5. Law Enforcement Concerns 6. Supercomputer 7. Show Me the Code 8. Project Follows Code 9. Organizing DESCHALL 10. Announcing DESCHALL 11. Getting Attention 12. Front Running 13. Haystack 14. Clients 14.1 Verser DES Key Search Method 14.2 More Speed for Intel 15. Architecture 15.1 Boot Disks 15.2 Client Management 15.3 Dialup Users 15.3.1. Dialup in Windows 15.3.2. Dialup in OS/2 16. Every Machine Counts 17. Competition 18. Summer Vacation 19. 100% CPU 20.Transition 21. Requests 22. Perseverance 23. Network 24. Download 25. SolNET 26. Get Off Your Duff 27. Short Circuit 28. Media 29. Volume 30. Too Much Is Never Enough 31. Proposal 32. In the Lead 33. Recruit 34. SolNET Drops Off 35. Threats 36. Crypto News 37. Rivalry 38. Overdrive 39. Disturbed 40. Back Door 41. Second Stage 42. Obstacle 43. DESGUI 44. Export 45. Keeping It Together 46. Getting Word Out 47. No DESCHALL Here 48. Schedule 49. SolNET Stumbles 50. A Few Hundred Clients 51. New Statistics 52. Bitslice 53. Crypto Battle 54. SolNET Recovers 55. Server Outrage 56. SGI 57. Netlag 58. Terminal Velocity 59. Photoshoot 60. Integrity 61. Workaround 62. Morale 63.Strong Cryptography Makes the World a Safer Place 64. Talking Head 65. Effect 66. Saying the Course 67. Five Years Later 68. Next Steps 68.1 Other Stuff A DESCHALL Press Release