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distributed.net History & Timeline

Note: In all instances above, "daily keyrate" refers to the keyrate for a single day, and "average keyrate" is a 7 day moving window average. January 28, 1997

RC5-32/12/7 (56-bit) Secret Key Challenge begins

February 1997

Coordinated effort lead by Earle Ady of New Media Laboratories (genx.net) gains momentum. Code is available for a number of platforms and keyrate peaks at an amazing 500 MKeys/sec at times. linux@linuxnet.org is the lead team by a wide margin. Lead coder for server development was Christopher Stach and Roman Gollent was a big help with testing and optimization of the assembly encryption routines.

February 26, 1997

In response to massive SYN flood attacks, the genx project withdraws their client binaries from distribution. New UDP-based clients are promised by the end of the week to counter the attacks.

March, 1997

A small group of "regulars" begins meeting in the efnet irc channel #rc5 to discuss the project and express their dismay over the attacks on the genx.net server.
The genx keyserver becomes unreliable, disappearing for days at a time.
Jeff "Bovine" Lawson begins working on a proxy buffer system to allow people to continue to run the client, cracking keys even while the genx server was offline. What will eventually become distributed.net begins its RC5 attack in co-operation with genx.net. 9128 blocks are completed the first day, for a rate of 28.36 Mkey/s. Time to exhaust keyspace: 80.6 years. Key assignment is completely random and completed work is not tracked (just buffered for eventual submission to the genx.net server)

March 18, 1997

genx.net keyserver disappears completely and will never reappear

March 24, 1997

Earle Ady is finally reached (Nugget called him at work) and confirms that the genx effort will not continue.
The first 'distributed.net' proxy network is made public. Bovine's proxy is converted and actually begins to orderly assign keys and track checked keys.
Five keyservers were in operation, run by Jeff Lawson (Bovine), Adam L. Beberg (Duncan), Peter Gildea (PetrDoubt), David McNett (Nugget), Chris Chiapusio (EA), and Peter DeNitto (AldE)
Tim Charron (TimC) releases his first optimized version of the client built from the genx (v1) code.

April, 1997

Several of the keyserver operators begin developing their own stats databases. No global stats are available

April 6, 1997

This division of prize money is agreed upon.

April 17, 1997

Our first web-server goes online. RC5-56 daily keyrate breaks 100 Mk/s for the first time, 0.1% completed, 22.1 years to exhaust keyspace (at current daily rate).

May 8, 1997 - distributed.net domain debuts

'distributed.net' is registered with InterNIC and goes online. Project-wide DuncanStats debut.

May 18, 1997

RC5-56 percent of keyspace completed: 1.03%, 370.25 Mk/s average rate, estimated time to exhaust keyspace at current rate: 6.1 years.

June 8, 1997

RC5-56 percent of keyspace completed: 2.03%, 420.35 Mk/s average rate, estimated time to exhaust keyspace at current rate: 5.3 years.

June 17, 1997

DES I is broken by Rocke Verser's Deschall effort.

June 19, 1997

RC5-56 keyrate breaks 500 Mk/s for the first time.

June 20, 1997

V3 clients announced for the first time. Stats switched to an hourly update schedule.

June 25, 1997

RC5-56 daily keyrate breaks 1 Gk/s for the first time, 3.25% of the keyspace is completed. Estimated time to exhaust keyspace at current rate: 2.1 years.

July 8, 1997

The first stable v2 client is released, v2.002. Among the features:
  • Buffering of up to 50 blocks
  • Menu configuration
  • Mid-block suspend on kill signals (HUP, ctrl-C etc)
  • Percentage done reporting
  • More accurate benchmarks
  • Extensive self-test
  • 20-50% faster on x86, lots faster on PPC
  • automatic proxy hunting if a proxy goes down.
  • reporting of CPU and OS types
  • more power :)

July 14, 1997

RC5-56 percent of keyspace completed: 5.13%, 1261 Mk/s average rate, estimated time to exhaust keyspace at current rate: 1.7 years.

July 23, 1997

RC5-56 daily keyrate breaks 2 Gk/s for the first time, 6.97% completed.

August 3, 1997

RC5-56 percent of keyspace completed: 10.06%, 2.477 Gk/s average rate, estimated time to exhaust keyspace at current rate: 10 months.

August 16, 1997

RC5-56 daily keyrate breaks 3 Gkey/sec for the first time, 14.13% completed.

September 2, 1997

The first user-created banners are made available for linking.
RC5-56 percent of keyspace completed: 20.51%, 3.3 Gk/s average rate, estimated time to exhaust keyspace at current rate: 201 days.

September 9, 1997

Keymaster now requires more bandwidth than 128K ISDN can provide.

September 21, 1997

RC5-56 percent of keyspace completed: 30.29%, 4.6 Gk/s average rate, estimated time to exhaust keyspace at current rate: 125 days.

September 29, 1997

RC5-56 daily keyrate breaks 5 Gk/s for the first time, 34.67% completed.

October 8, 1997

RC5-56 percent of keyspace completed: 40.17% 5.08 Gk/s average rate, estimated time to exhaust keyspace at current rate: 98 days.

October 22, 1997 - RC5-56 Finished

RC5-56 is cracked after 212 days. Percent of keyspace completed: 47.03%, 5.3 Gk/s average rate, estimated time to exhaust keyspace at current rate: 83 days.
RC5-64 is started. On the first day, 152799 blocks were checked at a rate of 475 Mkeys/sec. Time to exhaust keyspace at this rate: 1,235 years.

October 27, 1997

distributed.net is granted a charter as a not-for-profit corporation in the state of Alabama under the official name of Distributed Computing Technologies, Inc.

November 13, 1997

RC5-64 daily keyrate breaks 5 Gk/s, 0.017% completed, estimated time to exhaust keyspace at this rate: 104.5 years.

November 16, 1997

Stats database is moved to Best.net.

November 28, 1997

RC5-64 percent of keyspace completed: 0.10%, 8.4 Gk/s average rate, estimated time to exhaust keyspace at this rate: 69.5 years.

December 1, 1997

A check for $8,000 (from the RC5-56 win) is presented to Project Gutenberg.

December 18, 1997

distributed.net announces its intention to participate in DES-II-1.

December 4, 1997

RC5-64 daily keyrate breaks 10 Gk/s, 0.127% completed, estimated time to exhaust keyspace at this rate: 57 years.

December 30, 1997

RC5-64 percent of keyspace completed: 0.20%, 10.3 Gk/s average rate, estimated time to exhaust keyspace at this rate: 56.7 years.

December 30, 1997

The first 'State of the Net' address is posted.

January 9, 1998

RC5-64 percent of keyspace completed: 0.30%, 11.3 Gk/s average rate, estimated time to exhaust keyspace at this rate: 50.6 years.

January 13, 1998

The first dual core DES/RC5 clients are made available as the DES-II-1 contest starts.

February 15, 1998

Over 65% of the DESII-1 keyspace is completed and block reissuing has begun. The 'State of the Net' address is posted in English, German, Portuguese, Spanish, and French, marking the first official multi-lingual information from distributed.net.

February 23, 1998 - DES-II-1 Finished

DES-II-1 falls. Percent of keyspace completed: 88.4%, 28.1 Gk/s daily rate.

March 5, 1998

distributed.net rolls out regional support with 29 representatives serving 29 countries.

March 5, 1998

RC5-64 percent of keyspace completed: 0.50%, 11.7 Gk/s average rate, estimated time to exhaust keyspace at this rate: 49.9 years.

May 19, 1998

RC5-64 percent of keyspace completed: 1.00%, 17.0 Gk/s average rate, estimated time to exhaust keyspace at this rate: 34.1 years.

June 8, 1998

RC5-64 daily keyrate breaks 20 Gk/s, 1.18% completed, estimated time to exhaust keyspace at this rate: 29.5 years.

June 15, 1998

A 'client' aimed at improving our DES cores is released. This S-BOX project didn't use the existing distributed.net network, but it was the first distributed attempt at improving the speed of one of the main project clients.

June 27, 1998

The long awaited 2.71 clients are released in preparation for DES-II-2. They offer faster DES cores and better contest switching.

July 10, 1998

We check our 1 billionth RC5-64 block.

July 11, 1998

The new keymaster goes online, sporting a K6-300, 128meg SDRAM, 4.5GB UWSCSI, 1.2 GB USCSI, 6.4GB IDE, and running FreeBSD 2.2.6-STABLE. The machine booted and began serving keys without incident and ran without reboot or failure for nearly 200 days.

July 14, 1998

Statsbox II also sees 'first light' as Nugget fires up the dual PII-300, 12+G SCSI box.

July 13, 1998

DES-II-2 starts.

July 17, 1998

DES-II-2 is over. The key was found by the Electronic Frontier Foundation using $250,000 worth of custom hardware.

July 29, 1998

We begin the search for a new logo, announcing a logo design contest.

August 3, 1998

RC5-64 daily keyrate breaks 30 Gk/s, 1.78% completed, estimated time to exhaust keyspace at this rate: 18.5 years.

August 18, 1998

Our first eyegive payment check shows up for $4,271.06. Build .418 clients launched.

August 19, 1998

RC5-64 percent of keyspace completed: 2.03%, 30.6 Gk/s average rate, estimated time to exhaust keyspace at this rate: 18.77 years.

September 9, 1998

We start running stats through a custom http cache for the first time, greatly improving response times. BovineOne will eventually turn the 'cowcache' into an Apache module. The keymaster is now using more bandwidth than a T1(1.544 Mbps) could provide.

September 14, 1998

We formally announce OGR as our next contest and Rayden242 as the winner of our logo design contest.

October 14, 1998

We check our 2 billionth block.

October 19, 1998

RC5-64 percent of keyspace completed: 3.01%, 40.5 Gk/s average rate, estimated time to exhaust keyspace at this rate: 14.05 years.

November 17, 1998

We're officially recognized as a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization by the IRS.

November 30, 1998

RC5-64 daily keyrate breaks 50Gk/s, 3.87% completed, estimated time to exhaust keyspace at this rate: 11.08 years.

December 22, 1998

We check our 3 billionth block.

January 3, 1999

Our first ever test contest begins, in preparation for DES-III. This was the first large-scale test of our 'quick switch' clients, and was a resounding sucess. It was followed by a second test contest January 12.

January 8, 1999

Keymaster has an uptime of over half a year, but is taken down to replace the 1 gig keylog volume with a 9 gig UWSCSI disk and add another 128meg SDRAM dimm.

January 18, 1999

RSA's DES Challenge III begins

January 19, 1999

distributed.net and EFF solve the DES-III challenge in a record 22 hours, 15 minutes, 4 seconds.

January 23, 1999

RC5-64 percent of keyspace completed: 5.01%, 50.2 Gk/s average rate, estimated time to exhaust keyspace at this rate: 11.09 years.

February 15, 1999

Statsbox I is finally retired after over a year of service from the Pentium-200 machine.

March 23, 1999

Our bug tracker, based on Mozilla's Bugzilla bug tracker makes its debut.

April 15, 1999

We check our 5 billionth block.

April 15, 1999

Adam Beberg steps down as president to work on Cosm.

July 6, 1999

RC5-64 percent of keyspace completed: 10.03%, 73.92 Gk/s average rate, estimated time to exhaust keyspace at this rate: 7.13 years. Thanks to the generosity of Team Earth Rocket (#98), the lucky person who completed the 10% block received some nice steaks from Omaha Steaks . Our mission statement is announced.

August 13, 1999

The first official DCTI staff gathering gets underway a bit early. Read more about it here.

September 27, 1999

RC5-64 daily keyrate breaks 100Gk/s, 13.20% completed, estimated time to exhaust keyspace at this rate: 4.93 years.

October 27, 1999

We check our 10 billionth block.

November 17, 1999

The CSC contest is launched. On the first day, 382650 blocks, or 0.14% of the keyspace is done at an average rate of 1.2Gk/s.

November 27, 1999

CSC daily keyrate breaks 10Gk/s, 9.75% completed, estimated time to exhaust keyspace at this rate: 75 days.

December 5, 1999

CSC percent of keyspace completed: 21.53%, 12.8 Gk/s average rate, estimated time to exhaust keyspace at this rate: 51 days.

January 15, 2000

CSC contest completed.

Feb 15, 2000

OGR-24 contest is started, but is later suspended due to unexpected problems.

May 28, 2000

RC5-64 reaches 25% keyspace completion!

July 13, 2000

OGR-24 is officially relaunched!

August 1, 2000

The first pass of OGR-24 is completed and distribution of OGR-25 begins. The second verification pass of OGR-24 is done gradually in parallel with the first pass of OGR-25.

November 27, 2000

distributed.net announces partnership with United Devices. 14 staff-members of the project are employed by United Devices.

December 1, 2001

distributed.net reaches 1500 days of running of the RC5-64 contest. In this time almost 63% of the keyspace has been checked by more than 310 000 participating e-mails.

July 14, 2002

after 1757 days of searching the winning key to RSA Labs' RC5-64 project was successfully recovered by distributed.net. 0x63DE7DC154F4D039 was returned by a Pentium3-450 in Japan running Windows 2000.

Dec 3, 2002

RC5-72 is officially started and v2.9001 clients are made available.

Apr 16, 2004

A new server to replace the aging statsbox goes online! "Fritz" (aka statsbox-IV) can perform the daily stats rollup nearly 5 times faster than the previous server, "blower". It is a dual processor AMD Opteron 1.8 GHz server with 4GB of RAM with eight 200GB disks.

May 16, 2004

Phase 2 of OGR (aka "OGRp2") is officially launched to search the remaining portions of the stubspace, since the completed search of the original Phase 1 (aka "OGR classic") stubspace did not reveal any more optimal rulers for OGR-24 or OGR-25.

Nov 1, 2004

distributed.net announces the successful completion of the OGR-24 project.

(There is a big gap between November 2004 and 2017 which we hope to fill in at some point. We were busy during these times!)

A milestone! (April 10, 2017)

We have opened the 25/x stub space on OGR-28 in the past couple of days... and passed the 40 billion Gnodes completed milestone! Moo!

New stub space (April 27, 2017)

Since our last post a little over two weeks ago, we have opened the 26/x, 27/x and 28/x stub spaces of OGR-28 and just passed the 33% completion mark. Thank you for all of your help! Moo!

New stub space (May 6, 2017)

We have been working through the 29/x stub space of OGR-28 for a few days now... 30/x isn't far away! Thank you for all of your help so far. Moo!

New stub space (May 8, 2017)

We opened the 30-x stub space of OGR-28 today! Will you tell a friend about dnetc and help us get over 50,000 contributors?

Big news! (May 12, 2017)

We opened the 31-x stub space of OGR-28 today! This is the penultimate one.

Over 2,000 new volunteers joined us since March. Welcome! Moo!

In the last few days, we passed the RC5-72 50 BILLION blocks completed milestone!

New stub space (May 16, 2017)

We opened the 32-x stub space of OGR-28 today! Moo!

Play it again, Sam (May 21, 2017)

We are going around again! All of the stubs for OGR-28 that need calculating have been issued once. Do not adjust your set.. dnetc will continue to work normally. Moo!

Slow progress (June 13, 2017)

Wow, some of the work units in the first stub space take a long time, don't they?

In the past few days, we passed 36% completion on OGR-28. Moo!

New stub space (July 12, 2017)

We re-opened the 2-x stub space of OGR-28 today. Moo!

New stub space (August 3, 2017)

We re-opened the 3-x part of the 3rd stub space of OGR-28 today. Moo!

New stub space (September 4, 2017)

We re-opened the 4-x part of the 3rd stub space of OGR-28 yesterday.

The OGR-28 stubspace status page was stuck for a few days but it's working again now. Moo!

Tell one of your friends about us today. We need your help :)

A quick update (September 11, 2017)

We have been working on OGR-28 for 1300 days... today, we will pass 25 million stubs verified.

Do you have a project that we can work on after OGR-28? Let us know! Moo!

New stub space (October 2, 2017)

We re-opened the 5-x part of the 3rd stub space of OGR-28 yesterday. Moo!

A quick update (October 16, 2017)

More than 30 million stubs have been verified (completed twice) in OGR-28!

Do you think that we can reach 5% of RC5-72 completed by Christmas? Moo!

New stub space (November 6, 2017)

We re-opened the 6-x part of the 3rd stub space of OGR-28 today. Moo!

A quick update (November 10, 2017)

We passed 40% of OGR-28 completed this week! Moo!

New stub space (December 13, 2017)

We re-opened the 7-x part of the 3rd stub space of OGR-28 today. Moo!

A post for the New Year (January 8, 2018)

Check out Mike's latest blog: http://blogs.distributed.net/2018/01/08/23/12/mikereed/ Moo!

Congratulations (January 16, 2018)

Congratulations to our friends at GIMPS who recently discovered the 50th known Mersenne Prime number! https://www.mersenne.org/primes/press/M77232917.html Moo!

New stub space (January 26, 2018)

We re-opened the 9-x part of the 3rd stub space of OGR-28 today. Moo!

RC5-72 project update (January 31, 2018)

5% of the search space for the RC5-72 project has been checked! Moo!

OGR-28 project update (February 21, 2018)

We just passed 55,000 contributors on our OGR-28 project. We re-opened the 10-x part of the 3rd stub space of OGR-28 today. Moo!!

A quick update (March 11, 2018)

More than 70 million stubs have been verified (completed twice) in OGR-28!

Keymaster news (April 5, 2018)

Keymaster moved to a new home today! A big thank you to cdy, bang and the Internet Systems Consortium for taking such good care of it for a very long time. :)

New stub space (April 18, 2018)

We re-opened the 11-x part of the 3rd stub space of OGR-28 today. Moo!

OGR-28 project update (April 20, 2018)

More than 80 million stubs have been verified (completed twice) in OGR-28! Moo!

A new project? (May 15, 2018)

Do you have a math project which is looking for huge processing power? We can help.

New stub space (May 23, 2018)

We re-opened the 12-x part of the 3rd stub space of OGR-28 today. More than 90 million stubs have been verified (completed twice) in OGR-28! Moo!

New stub space (June 1, 2018)

We re-opened the 13-x part of the 3rd stub space of OGR-28 today. Moo!

OGR-28 project update (June 14, 2018)

400 million (76%) of all of the stubs in OGR-28 have been tested once. Moo!

New stub space (July 10, 2018)

We re-opened the 14-x part of the 3rd stub space of OGR-28 today. Moo!

New stub space (July 24, 2018)

We re-opened the 15-x part of the 3rd stub space of OGR-28. Moo!

Project update (August 9, 2018)

415 million (79%) of all of the stubs in OGR-28 have been tested once, and more than 100 million have been verified! Moo!

Stats issues (August 20, 2018)

Stats are caught up again. We're still trying to figure out the cause of a timestamping error that periodically happens on our new server, which causes automatic stats importing to break. Whenever it happens, a lot of manual fixups have to be done on our backend to get stats processing to recover. Thanks for your continued support! ]:8)

Project milestone! (August 28, 2018)

We've crossed the 50% mark of OGR-28 and we re-opened the 16-x part of the 3rd stub space of OGR-28 today. Moo!

New stubspace (September 26, 2018)

We re-opened the 17-x part of the 3rd stub space of OGR-28. Moo!

New stubspace (October 22, 2018)

We re-opened the 18-x part of the 3rd stub space of OGR-28. Moo!

A world record! (November 5, 2018)

Our friends at PrimeGrid discovered a world record Generalized Fermat prime yesterday with more than 6.3 million digits! We also re-opened the 19-x part of the 3rd stub space of OGR-28. Moo!

Project update (November 13, 2018)

427 million (81%) of all of the stubs in OGR-28 have been tested once, and more than 140 million have been verified! Moo!

New stubspace (December 3, 2018)

We re-opened the 20-x part of the 3rd stub space of OGR-28. Moo!

Project update (December 10, 2018)

More than 58,000 of us are working together on OGR-28 and we have verified more than 150 million stubs!

RC5-72 milestone! (December 16, 2018)

Today, we confirmed 60 *billion* blocks of RC5-72 have been tested! More than 16 years of effort and 137,000 volunteers have brought us here...! Moo!

New stubspace (December 24, 2018)

We re-opened the 21-x part of the 3rd stub space of OGR-28. Moo!

Project update (December 26, 2018)

We have now verified more than 160 million stubs on OGR-28! Moo!