private key protection

Robert J. Hansen rjh at
Mon Jun 25 17:55:23 CEST 2012

On 06/25/2012 11:08 AM, Kevin Kammer wrote:
> Eventually being...  the age of the Earth?

(I do not disagree with Kevin: this is an emphatic agreement.)

There is a minimum energy associated with flipping a bit -- something so
small that a single proton has the energy to flip about a trillion bits.

Let's say you have a remarkably efficient OS that can test a given key
while only flipping 10,000 bits.  Multiply that times the number of
attempts you'd have to make to brute-force a 128-bit key and you get a
really big number, so big that it no longer makes sense to describe it
in terms of nuclear warheads.  The best, most visceral way of saying it
is, "You must have 340 kilos of antimatter to run your computer."

If you happen to have 340 kilos of antimatter lying around, then yes,
brute-forcing is certainly possible.  I deeply hope you don't.  I like
Earth: all my stuff is here.

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