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How about "impossible within the natural lifespan of all currently living humans and their great*10^18 offspring"? That's my take on it.

After all, I doubt any humans would be left alive 70 quadrillion years from now to care what the encrypted data was. Even if there were, the computer being used to crack it would likely disintegrate completely a few hundred million years into the process.

So, yeah, "impossible" is, for all intents and purposes, a practical description.

Edit: And yes, I know **galvanash**'s white paper called for 77 septillion years, but I was attempting to stay within the lifespan of the universe, give or take an order of magnitude.

*Edited 2011-08-18 00:04 UTC*

This must be the most autistic sample of pedantry I've encountered since early April.

Oh, and for your arguing style you also have a raspberry from me in semantics, as "demonstrably" may be the lamest excuse for a technicality this month (infantile hypercorrection).

You know there are those Bitcoin folks with buildings brimmed with graphics cards.

Think about quantum physics. It is also possible to just walk through a wall or slip through the earth, which in fact mots of us are "trying" 24/7. I know, it is a lot more likely to find a key, but the problem is people's (meaning at least mine) usually have a problem comprehending how (un)likely an event is. Just think about lotteries. People play because there is a chance, even though most of them know it is very unlikely. Walking through a wall is even free, still you be called insane if you tried, while nobody does when you take part in a lottery.

I call anyone who plays the lottery insane. The lottery is a tax on people who failed high school math. Unless you are someone who does something like this:

http://www.gazettenet.com/2011/08/02/lottery-scheme-appears-to-caus...

The media makes it sounds like this is criminal or something... It should be applauded imo - finding such a flaw in what is essentially a rigged system should earn the finder a hefty payday, not accusations of criminality. The state needs to hire better mathematicians if they want to keep their system effectively rigged...

The assumption is that the computing power stays constant.

If computer speed doubles every 18 months then the problem can be solved in 0.01 seconds 300 years from now, given the same amount of processing power, relatively. This is not taking into account algorithmic improvements.

Just like today we find historic ciphers like the Caesar cipher laughably easy to crack, the future will find AES256 easy to crack.

If computer speed doubles every 18 months then the problem can be solved in 0.01 seconds 300 years from now, given the same amount of processing power, relatively. This is not taking into account algorithmic improvements.

Just like today we find historic ciphers like the Caesar cipher laughably easy to crack, the future will find AES256 easy to crack.

Not necessarily. Say that you need to try more combinations than there are atoms on earth to find a solution - do you really think that future will find it easy?

If you have 2^64 coins, then the pile would reach from the nearest star (alpha centauri), and back again. How far is it to the nearest star? If you could travel with light speed (300.000km/sec) it would take you 4.3 years before you arrived.

We talk about 2^128 or 2^256 which is much much much much much much much more than 2^64.

I dont think the future will find this easy.

Unless there is a mathematical breakthrough that finds the solution in a few seconds. But these problems seem to have no easy solution - the only solution is to try all combinations. But you can not be sure, maybe there is an easy solution, but we are not clever enough to spot it. But mathematicians are trying to prove that the only solution is to try every combination - which seems to be the case. However, if you find an easy solution, then you Clay institute will give you 1 million USD, and you will be world famous as one of the greatest mathematicians ever.

Google "NP-complete" for more information on this. For instance, Mine sweeper is NP-complete. Basically you need to try every possible combination - in other words, there exist no Mine Sweeper strategy that solves the game, you just need to randomly try every square. If you find a strategy that always solves the game, then you will win 1 million USD and be world famous. Google "mine sweeper np-complete" for more information.

Member since:

2006-01-25

Ok, impossible might not be the right word. But "exceedingly unlikely" doesn't do it justice either...

This is a little tidbit from a paper I read a while back (its a pdf - don't know where I got it from so I can't link to it)...

If you assume:

Every person on the planet owns 10 computers.

There are 7 billion people on the planet.

Each of these computers can test 1 billion key

combinations per second.

On average, you can crack the key after testing

50 percent of the possibilities.

THEN

The earthâ€™s population can crack one

encryption key in 77,000,000,

000,000,000,000,000,000 years.

That is a bit more than "exceedingly unlikely"