Comments: FUDWatch: NSA's shift to ECC, IESG lowers boom on cryptostrength, John Young on Fud versus Fud

I think it is reasonable for an individual to try to keep a secret (from the government) for his/her entire lifetime (100 years). However, there are very few government secrets that need to be kept quiet that long. So, what the NSA is suggesting for typical government use isn't necessarily good enough for the individual.

To even have a shot at protecting a secret for 100 years using RSA, I would need to use keys betweek 7K to 16K long. Even on a recent machine, generating a 16K key is time consuming--especially if we want to use a good random number generator with a good entropy collector.

Transparently publishing public keys via email, SMS, and instant message is also burdensome when those keys are significantly larger than the message that they are attached to. I believe that transparent publishing of public keys is the best way to change these types of communication from "public by default" to "private by default."

More and more communication is taking place on mobile cellular devices. There, performance is limited. More importantly, power usage side effects of performing big computations and the transmission of large keys are very important factors.

For these reasons, ECC's smaller equivalent key sizes seem to be a significant benefit to me. Unfortunately, I've yet to see any reference that will help me choose good parameters for ECC, and that creates a big FUD roadblock in my mind. More FUD comes from the fact that people keep saying that ECC isn't as strong as is currently believed (a claim also being made now about AES). I am not qualified to even know how to respond to these claims.

RSA looks like the safe and easy choice as long as its performance isn't a problem. When it does become a problem, it seems like ECC is the only viable alternative right now.

(By the way, I read your articles via your RSS or Atom feed. I noticed that your feed is plain text, which means that the hyperlinks don't work in the feed. It would be helpful if you could change the feeds to be HTML or XHTML. And, thanks for the great articles.)

Posted by Brian at August 16, 2007 01:06 AM
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