Discussion:
If someone cracked the factorisation problem...
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Sylvia Else
2018-07-30 02:02:52 UTC
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..there would be period during which the internet would be very insecure.

Let's suppose the person had a conscience, and didn't just reveal the
method to the world, but offered to publish factorisations of the public
moduli of certain certificates on public interest grounds.

Which certificates should they break?

I'm considering that any certificate of a totalitarian government would
be fair game.

Also, any certificates used to prevent people from gaining access to
equipment that they own.

What else?

Sylvia.
Eli the Bearded
2018-07-30 06:09:43 UTC
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Post by Sylvia Else
Which certificates should they break?
I'm considering that any certificate of a totalitarian government would
be fair game.
Whose idea of 'totalitarian'? If this factorization wizard wanted people
to take him (or her) seriously, s/he'd break low damage / high symbolic
value certs. Bruse Schneier's site. MIT. The April Fools Google domain
(com.google).
Post by Sylvia Else
What else?
Everyone's trust in the Internet.

Elijah
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Computer Nerd Kev
2018-07-30 23:01:27 UTC
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Post by Sylvia Else
..there would be period during which the internet would be very insecure.
Let's suppose the person had a conscience, and didn't just reveal the
method to the world, but offered to publish factorisations of the public
moduli of certain certificates on public interest grounds.
Which certificates should they break?
I'm considering that any certificate of a totalitarian government would
be fair game.
So if they're an Arab, they'll probably break one of the US ones.
Post by Sylvia Else
Also, any certificates used to prevent people from gaining access to
equipment that they own.
What else?
In my opinion the ones with the most incentive and also the most
money to put into researching this would be national intelligence
agencies like the NSA. There'd then be no chance of the public
finding out unless the information leaks or there's a political
reason for revealing it.

By this logic, and given that technologies like quantum computing
suggest that there are potential paths to a solution, I'm not
entirely sure that the problem hasn't already been solved. Or
at least more efficiently brute forced.
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Kenny McCormack
2018-07-31 00:38:25 UTC
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Post by Computer Nerd Kev
Post by Sylvia Else
..there would be period during which the internet would be very insecure.
Let's suppose the person had a conscience, and didn't just reveal the
method to the world, but offered to publish factorisations of the public
moduli of certain certificates on public interest grounds.
Which certificates should they break?
I'm considering that any certificate of a totalitarian government would
be fair game.
So if they're an Arab, they'll probably break one of the US ones.
Or the EU.

(Quickly coming to view the US about the same as that to which you allude).
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