PGP5i supports RSA keys?

Feanor feanor at
Sun Aug 24 21:56:01 PDT 1997

On Aug 24, 21:25, Anonymous wrote:
} Subject: Re: PGP5i supports RSA keys?
> Bill Stewart <stewarts at> writes:
> > ...
> > but there's also really no need for keys longer than 2048 bits unless
> > some radical algorithmic breakthrough happens.  (Computer hardware 
> > breakthroughs aren't relevant; the exponential behaviour of the
> > algorithms mean that a few extra bits makes any device that fits
> > on the planet still too small.)  1024 bits is probably enough,
> > but maybe not, depending on how long you need to keep something secret
> > and how much technology improves doing your lifetime.  
> Sorry, but computer hardware performance is increasing exponentially,
> but the difficulty of factoring is subexponential in the length of the
> number.


Barring a _severe_ breakthrough in the entire nature of computing, you still
need at least 1 atom to store one bit of information.  It would take more
computing power than all the atoms in the world, with the ability to store 1 bit
on a atom and other dazzling feats of miniaturization, to crack a 2048 bit key
barring algorithmic breakthrough.

I'm sorry, but barring the severe breakthrough mentioned, Moore's Law will break
when we are storing single atoms as bits.  Or perhaps single electrons (spin,
but how the hell do you hold them in place for reading??), but the point still
stands.  Quantum computing might fill the void, but then, quantum computing
might make all Crypto thus far irrelevant anyways.

More information about the cypherpunks-legacy mailing list