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Distributed FPGA Number Crunching For The Masses

cracking, FPGA
Felix Domke
Chaos Communication Congress 27th (27C3) 2010
Indexed on
Mar 27, 2013
File name
File size
659.9 MB

In 1998, the EFF built "Deep Crack", a machine designed to perform a walk over DES's 56-bit keyspace in nine days, for $250.000. With today's FPGA technology, a cost decrease of 25x can be achieved, as the copacobana project has shown. If that's still too much, two approaches should be considered: Recycling hardware and distributed computing. This talk will be about combining both approaches for the greater good. A number of projects (Copacobana, Picocomputing) have shown that with today's technology enough brute force computing power to break limited keylength ciphers (like DES) is affordable even for small companies. But what about Joe Geek at home? Recycling FPGAs is one option ([email protected]), distributed computing another (distributed.net, ...). This project combines both approaches, developing a toolchain that can be used to prototype a project on a low-end FPGA (or even in a free simulator), and then scaling up the effort across different implementations onto a large number of devices. An example client implementation uses an FPGA in a widely available consumer device to provide computing power when the device is in standby. Another approach that will be discussed in detail is how to obtain decommissioned high-end FPGA-based hardware. We will have hardware to show with a live demo!

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