Crypto shocker: four of every 1,000 public keys provide no security

Posted by jhansonxi on Feb 16, 2012 10:13 AM EDT
ars technica; By Dan Goodin
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The finding, reported in a paper (PDF) submitted to a cryptography conference in August, is based on the analysis of some 7.1 million 1024-bit RSA keys published online. By subjecting what's known as the "modulus" of each public key to an algorithm first postulated more than 2,000 years ago by the Greek mathematician Euclid, the researchers looked for underlying factors that were used more than once. Almost 27,000 of the keys they examined were cryptographically worthless because one of the factors used to generate them was used by at least one other key.

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