Two records in RSA factorisation were achieved through HPC and with the support of PRACE, going above and beyond Moore’s law.
On 2 December 2019 at ECC 2019 in Bochum, a team of European scientists led by Paul Zimmermann of INRIA, France, announced that they computed the largest-ever RSA key size (RSA-240), alongside the largest-ever integer discrete logarithm (795 bits). The achievement is extra remarkable, because the feat goes beyond Moore’s law: based on the current improvements in hardware, we would have had to wait a few more years for this result. Improvements in the software that carries out the Number Field Sieving, and algorithms allowed for the two records to be broken at the same time, and for Moore’s law to be bypassed.
The project in which these achievements were recorded, named “New Records for Integer Factorization and Discrete Logarithm” received 32 million core hours on the German JUWELS supercomputer, hosted by GCS at FZJ, via an allocation under the 18th Call for Proposals for PRACE Project Access.
These achievements prove that in the race for the largest and fastest supercomputer, we should continue to focus on scaling up and improving the applications that run on these machines. With phones, cars, homes, and even cities becoming “smart” the need for digital security is ever increasing, and Europe can play a leading role here.
Núria López, Chair of the PRACE Scientific Steering Committee.
RSA-240 is an extremely large number that is the product of two prime numbers. It looks like this:
21206469746700620316443478873837606252372049619334517 * 2446242088383181505678131390240028966538020925789314014520412213365584770951781552582188977350305
- Official announcement of the project
- CADO-NFS cado-nfs.gforge.inria.fr/
- Grid5000 grid5000.fr/w/Grid5000:Home
- EXPLOR univ-lorraine.fr/
- Ars Technica article in English com/information-technology/2019/12/new-crypto-cracking-record-reached-with-less-help-than-usual-from-moores-law/#
- ECC 2019: 23rd Workshop on Elliptic Curve Cryptography eccworkshop.org/2019/index.html