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Special-Purpose Hardware in Cryptanalysis: The Case of 1,024-Bit RSA

Discussion in asymmetric cryptography circles currently focuses on 1,024-bit RSA key security. Interestingly, in this discussion, a major argument put forward for the insecurity of 1,024-bit RSA isn't due to paramount theoretical progress but to hypothetical hardware devices for factoring large numbers. Unlike quantum computers, these special-purpose designs try to work within the bounds of existing technology; this article looks at the ideas underlying some of these designs and their potential.

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