I had an interesting idea for a personal security/cryptography product (and a corresponding market niche) recently, so I’ve been doing some reading about the CLR’s crypto classes. VisualStudio Magazine has some decent articles here and here and here. Food for thought… #

Wired has a good piece about the RIAA‘s attempts to shut down Kazaa, and Kazaa’s attempts to resist. This is deeply cool: networks of off-shore front companies, crypto, edgy software, decentralised networks, worryingly foreign-sounding names. Think data havens. Think Cryptonomicon. Bruce Sterling. Neuromancer. Entire business models liquefying into obsolescence like melting ice. Starving record-company execs begging on the streets for the price of a can of Special Brew… #

Anyway *cough* where was I? Ah yes, crypto. Adi Shamir, who muddied the waters a few years ago with Twinkle, is now describing an faster, hardware-based implementation of the Number Field Sieve factoring algorithm. He claims that his new device, called Twirl, should be able to factor 1024-bit RSA keys in under a year with a $10M cost. Frankly, I don’t have the maths to even begin to understand his paper or whether it might scale-up to, say, military-strength 2048 bit keys; but if it does then its goodbye banking system. I’m waiting for Bruce Schneier to tell me what to think about this one.