RIVYERA from SciEngines

The clever engineers at SciEngines now have an off-the-shelf computer, the RIVYERA S3-5000, that will crack DES in roughly one day. In the unlikely event that you're a hacker who needs to recover DES keys, this is definitely how you'll want to do it. A RIVYERA is roughly 20 times more cost-effective than the EFF's dot-com era DES Cracker.

These RIVYERA machines use 128 Xilinx XC3S5000 FPGAs to get the ability to test 292 billion DES keys per second. That's very impressive. I haven't been involved in building computers for a while, but unless things have changed a lot, it's probably still pretty much like Tracy Kidder describes in The Soul of a New Machine, although I have to wonder if engineers still quit their jobs from the stress of making faster computers, leaving behind only a note that says "I'm going to a commune in Vermont and will deal with no unit of time shorter than a season."

In any case, I'd love to hear the engineers at SciEngines tell the story of how the RIVYERA came to be.

To put things in perspective, however, even at the rate that a RIVYERA S3-5000 can crack DES, cracking a 3DES key will take essentially forever – roughly 200 trillion years. So I doubt that we'll see anything capable of cracking a 3DES key any time soon.

  • Peter Gutmann

    >I’d love to hear the engineers at SciEngines tell the story of how the RIVYERA came to be.
    It’s a commercialisation of the COPACOBANA FPGA engine, see http://www.copacobana.org/.
    (I’m impressed that they’ve productised this, it’s a nice design.

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  • Peter Gutmann

    Oh, and they still can’t spell :-).

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  • Tim Pietruck

    To provide a bit of “insider” info:
    a. Soon, there will be a version based on Spartan 6, likely more than doubling that performance. But, totally correct, 3DES is still out of reach – unless attacking e.g. a human-selected password…
    b. Spelling Riviera and Copacabana correctly results in lousy search-engine results (lousy from the perspective of having people find the website) 😉
    c. The COPACOBANA S3-1000 is the direct commercialization of the university COPACOBANA project. The RIVYERA S3-5000 is the successor of the older machine and has a number of improvements – including bus, local memory per FPGA, FPGA-size, controllers etc.
    d. I am sure that there are some interesting anecdotes to tell about the COPA design proccess, which are not posted on the internet. Also, “The Soul of a New Machine” is only partially mirroring SciEngines reality. You can now guess, which part…

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