SHA1 broken?

Joseph Ashwood ashwood at
Sun Feb 20 18:41:18 PST 2005

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Dave Howe" <DaveHowe at>
Subject: Re: SHA1 broken?

>   Indeed so. however, the argument "in 1998, a FPGA machine broke a DES 
> key in 72 hours, therefore TODAY..." assumes that (a) the problems are 
> comparable, and (b) that moores law has been applied to FPGAs as well as 
> CPUs.

That is only misreading my statements and missing a very large portion where 
I specifically stated that the new machine would need to be custom instead 
of semi-custom. The proposed system was not based on FPGAs, instead it would 
need to be based on ASICs engineered using modern technology, much more 
along the lines of a DSP. The primary gains available are actually from the 
larger wafers in use now, along with the transistor shrinkage. Combined 
these have approximately kept the cost in line with Moore's law, and the 
benefits of custom engineering account for the rest. So for exact details 
about how I did the calculations I assumed Moore's law for speed, and an 
additional 4x improvement from custom chips instead of of the shelf. In 
order to verify the calculations I also redid them assuming DSPs which 
should be capable of processing the data (specifically from TI), I came to a 
cost within a couple orders of magnitude although the power consumption 
would be substantially higher.

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