Rivest's analogy about a DES Serach
Ron Rivest wrote to coderpunks@toad.com on Monday, 06 Jan 97 23:07:16 EST the message <199701070407.AA22621@swan.lcs.mit.edu>:

For your amusement:

The number 2^56 of DES keys is quite close to the number of 3"x5" index cards that it takes to cover the surface of the earth (ocean included).

A Pentium searching 200,000 keys/second is like driving a car at 70 mph and checking all the index cards in a 200-foot wide swath. At this speed, it takes two weeks just to go around the earth once.

Cheers,
Ron Rivest


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