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COMPUTING

From...

RSA wants you to crack this code

December 23, 1998
Web posted at: 10:30 AM EST

by Rebecca Sykes

(IDG) -- RSA Data Security will host another contest to break the U.S. government's Data Encryption Standard at the RSA Data Security Conference in San Jose, Calif., in January.

The 56-bit DES encryption algorithm is widely used and has been broken in the contest before, most recently in July in a record three days.

Security software maker RSA Data Security aims to show the obsolescence of U.S. encryption policy, according to a statement from the company. Unlike most nations, the U.S. restricts the export of encryption software and other crypto products.

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Details of the contest will be posted on the RSA's Web site next month. If DES is cracked in 24 hours or less, those who break it will receive $10,000, the company said.

Smaller amounts will be awarded for cracking DES in greater amounts of time, up to the previous contest winner's time of 56 hours, after which no money will be awarded, the company said.

Rebecca Sykes is correspondent at large for the IDG News Service in Boston.

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