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TI Calculator RC5-64 Team Formed at Distributed.net
Posted by Eric on 23 January 2000, 17:00 GMT

Eric and I have formed a team at the distributed.net project for us TI Calculator fiends. For those of you who don't know what distributed.net is, it can be quickly described as the fastest computer on earth.

For those of you in search of more information, distributed.net's current project is the RC5-64 Challenge put forth by RSA labs. Without going into too much detail, you basically have the (infinitesimally small) chance of winning $1,000 with no outlay of money of your own. Instructions on how to get involved follow, but if you'd like to learn more I suggest you visit their web page or the EFNet IRC channel #distributed.

  1. Get a client. These can be found at http://www.distributed.net/download/clients.html. Clients are out for most operating systems, including Windows, Linux, BSD, OS/2, and MacOS.
  2. After you install the client, run it. You will be asked to do some basic configuring. Basically, the important stuff is "General Client Options->Your email address" (put your email address there), and "General Client Options->Project order" (make sure RC5 is set to the first option). If you wish, you may fiddle with the other settings, but they should be fine. Then save your settings and exit; you can then commence cracking!
  3. About a day or so after you crack your first RC5 blocks, go to http://stats.distributed.net/rc5-64/ and search for your email address. If it doesn't show up, wait a few hours and try again. If it shows up, you will see a nice page giving detailed information about your RC5 statistics. To get your password, scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the "I cannot remember my password. Please email 's password." After you get your password, you may login in at http://stats.distributed.net/pedit.php3 to edit your personal information.
  4. Now, the important part. After you've done everything listed above, go to http://stats.distributed.net/rc5-64/tmsummary.php3?team=4938. This is the home page for the TI Calculator Team. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click the "I want to join this team!" link. You may be prompted for your username and password if you didn't allow cookies in your personal information page.

If you get a confirmation, that means it worked. After the statistics refresh (this is done every day at GMT), you will see your email address on the team stats list.

Thanks, and happy cracking!

 


The comments below are written by ticalc.org visitors. Their views are not necessarily those of ticalc.org, and ticalc.org takes no responsibility for their content.


Re: TI Calculator RC5-64 Team Formed at Distributed.net
Mike Palmer  Account Info

This looks cool... looks like ticalc.org is just dying for a good news article ;)

     23 January 2000, 17:10 GMT


Re: Re: TI Calculator RC5-64 Team Formed at Distributed.net
Phil Genera  Account Info
(Web Page)

Bah :) More like Phil is dying to see if his team can get more than two members :)
--
Phil

     23 January 2000, 17:26 GMT


Re: Re: Re: TI Calculator RC5-64 Team Formed at Distributed.net
Niklas Brunlid  Account Info
(Web Page)

Well, now it has at least three members =)

     23 January 2000, 17:57 GMT

Re: TI Calculator RC5-64 Team Formed at Distributed.net
qazII  Account Info

OK...are there clients available for the calculators?

     23 January 2000, 18:17 GMT


Re: Re: TI Calculator RC5-64 Team Formed at Distributed.net
Phil Genera  Account Info
(Web Page)

*sigh* I knew someone would ask that :)
Regrettably there are not, for some very good reasons. A calculator is too slow to effectively crack rc5-64, and the cost in batteries would be tremendous. Also, the absence of network connectability would also make things difficult.
Oh, and please don't ask the distributed.net admins about this, they've heard it so often that it bothers them at this point. Thanks
--
Phil

     23 January 2000, 18:29 GMT

Re: Re: Re: TI Calculator RC5-64 Team Formed at Distributed.net
Patrick Wilson  Account Info
(Web Page)

Now, we all agree this is some cool stuff, but does it have anything to do with calcs? Perhaps this would be better announced at dotcomma. Oh well, sounds cool anyways.

     23 January 2000, 19:27 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: TI Calculator RC5-64 Team Formed at Distributed.net
Eric Sun  Account Info
(Web Page)

Sure, cuz it's the TI Calculator RC5 team :). distributed.net doesn't really have to do with anything...if you look on the stats page, there's all sorts of teams listed.

     23 January 2000, 20:13 GMT


Re: Re: Re: TI Calculator RC5-64 Team Formed at Distributed.net
aoejedi  Account Info
(Web Page)

Yeah, but couldn't users of TI Calcs try to create a 4-bit decryption program that would run on say... an 83+?

-Dave

     4 February 2000, 02:04 GMT

Re: TI Calculator RC5-64 Team Formed at Distributed.net
Ken Account Info

I love these team competition stuff... =)

Count me in... Go TI Calc Team!!

     23 January 2000, 21:20 GMT

Re: TI Calculator RC5-64 Team Formed at Distributed.net
Robin Kay  Account Info
(Web Page)

It should be noted that the prize money is $2,000. But half of it goes to the team you're in (if you're in a team that is!).

     23 January 2000, 22:20 GMT


Re: Re: TI Calculator RC5-64 Team Formed at Distributed.net
Kaven Rousseau  Account Info

Cool, if there are 500 persons in the team... you get a whooping $2 if you team wins... almost fantastic :P

Kaven

     23 January 2000, 23:05 GMT


Re: Re: Re: TI Calculator RC5-64 Team Formed at Distributed.net
Sesquipedalian

Who said the team members get any money? The prize money goes to the team leaders and they can choose to distribute it how they like. I have a feeling Phil (or whoever the official team leader is) won't be distributing the money to anyone. The cost of distributing it would outweigh the value of the money. It'll probably go toward improving the site, new hardware, ISP bills, etc.

     25 January 2000, 05:31 GMT


Re: Re: Re: Re: TI Calculator RC5-64 Team Formed at Distributed.net
Robin Kay  Account Info
(Web Page)

I obviously havn't made myself clear...

* RSA Data Labs Inc gives $10,000 in prize money to the finder of the key.
* If you use distributed.net's software and servers to find the key then they take $6,000 and give you $2,000
* If you are --NOT-- a member of team then --ALL-- of this money ($2,000) goes directly to you.
* If you --ARE-- a member of team then --HALF-- ($1,000) of this money goes to directly to you and the other half goes to the team leader.

"YOU" refers to the owner of the computer that found the key. Therefore from a financial point of view, it is a bad idea to be in a team becuase if it halves the prize money you get if you win. Nethertheless, If "YOU" find the key and are in a team, the team leader cannot deney you your half of the $2,000.

--Robin Kay--

     30 January 2000, 02:28 GMT

Re: TI Calculator RC5-64 Team Formed at Distributed.net
lexlugger
(Web Page)

Shouldn't we use this combines processing power to do something useful like cracking TI's RSA key for the TI-89? That would allow us to write flash applications.

     24 January 2000, 00:15 GMT


Re: Re: TI Calculator RC5-64 Team Formed at Distributed.net
programmer066  Account Info

No, we can't do that. It's against the law. What distributed.net is doing isn't because it is a contest CREATED by RSA. The key was meant to be cracked. But not so with the TI-89. If you even tryed you would have broken the law.

     24 January 2000, 17:44 GMT

Re: Re: Re: TI Calculator RC5-64 Team Formed at Distributed.net
ikecam  Account Info
(Web Page)

So?

     24 January 2000, 21:12 GMT


???
Sesquipedalian

Exactly what law are you talking about? If there is some law preventing me from carrying out a series of arithmetical operations on my computer, I would certainly like to hear about it. I would have to stop using netscape this very minute, because it performs arithmetical operations too, and that's all cryptography is.

Seriously, where would you get such a crazy idea? Attempting to crack an encryption key is against the law? Better tell all those cryptography researchers that they have to stop. Hell, just shut down the NSA, cracking keys is pretty much all they do anyway.

I generally don't mind ignorance, but please do everyone a favor and keep your mouth shut.

     24 January 2000, 22:37 GMT

Re: ???
Shawn Prestridge  Account Info
(Web Page)

Cracking our key IS against the law. Ask Jon Johansen who had his home raided for cracking DVD codes, which he summarily published. See the URL attached to this missive.

     27 January 2000, 19:58 GMT


Re: Re: ???
Sesquipedalian

The DVD case is very very very different. That involved cracking an algorithm, not a key, and I firmly believe that what Jon did is totally legal. If it's not, than we might as well ban all technological innovation, because that's all he was doing. If it happened to piss off the movie industry, they should have planned better. Look at http://www.opendvd.org/
for a much better perspective on that issue.
BTW, it turns out that he wasn't even the one who carried out the actual cracking.

     28 January 2000, 01:31 GMT


Re: ???
programmer066  Account Info

I'm sorry. Allow me to re-phrase myself. There is a COPYRIGHT LAW. It is not neccasarily illegal to crack encrypted items, or, as you put it, manipulate numbers, but it IS ILLEGAL to crack any key that has been explicitly outlined as against the law. Take any software program, or for instance, the TI-89; if you were to crack the key on it that locked its binary source YOU WOULD BE BREAKING THE LAW. In the license agreement does it not say "Restrictions: You may not reverse-assemble or reverse-compile the software program portion of the Licensed Materials that are provided in object code format."? Answer me that. IT IS ILLEGAL. To break the key would be to reverse-assemble the 'Licensed Materials'.
It is somewhat like the MP3 argument going on. Many have been illegally distributed, so now music companies want to encrypt MP3's so they can't be copied. So if you were to break the key for the encryption, you would infringe on Copyright Laws. Do I make myself clear?

programmer066

     28 January 2000, 00:53 GMT


Re: Re: ???
Sesquipedalian

Clearer, but still not there yet...

I think there is a little miscommunication about what exactly is being cracked. You refered to cracking a key to get the "binary source" of the OS. I'm not sure what binary source is, but I'll assume you mean binary code, or object code. That's not encrypted in any way. You can write a ROM dumper to transfer it to your calc, legally. The key that the original post was talking about is an RSA key used for digital signatures for flash applications. Digitally signing something does not encrypt it or obfuscate it in any way. Cracking that key would be legal, but extremely difficult (so TI has nothing to worry about). USING the key to impersonate TI would, I'm sure, be in violation of many laws.

The thing in the license agreement you mention prohibits disassembling the ROM that you have on your computer (or on the calc, if someone write an on-calc dissambler). I have a feeling that if that was tested in court, it would be voided. There have been cases of companies putting totally ludicrous (sp!) things in their EULA's, which have been thrown out by courts as totally impractical and silly.

I hope I've made myself clear...

     28 January 2000, 01:27 GMT


???
Shawn Prestridge  Account Info
(Web Page)

According to software copyright protection laws, attempting to subvert any sort of protection scheme, be it encryption or signature, is a violation. Moreover, the scheme is considered part of the algorithm of our calculator and covered under the EULA. And I don't think that your notion of playing legal semantics for loopholes in the EULA would be the brightest use of your time and resources. I'll go out on a limb, but I would be willing to wager that our legal budget is slightly greater than yours. 8-P However, I think that we may be beating a dead horse.

     28 January 2000, 04:16 GMT


Re: ???
Sesquipedalian

> However, I think that we may be beating a dead horse.

Agreed :)

     28 January 2000, 05:32 GMT

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