Can someone explain the differences between the DES challenge, the RSA challenges, and the RSA factoring challenge? What were the aims? I think the factoring challenge was to encourage research, the DES challenge was to show that 56-bit keys are too short. But how do the three challenges relate to each other?
RSA labs set up Cryptographic Challenges*
All bolds are mine!
Various cryptographic challenges — including the RSA Factoring Challenge — served in the early days of commercial cryptography to measure the state of progress in practical cryptanalysis and reward researchers for the new knowledge they have brought to the community. Now that the industry has a considerably more advanced understanding of the cryptanalytic strength of common symmetric-key and public-key algorithms, these challenges are no longer active. The records, however, are presented here for reference by interested cryptographers.
The goal of RSA Laboratories’ secret-key challenges was to quantify the security offered by the government-endorsed data encryption standard (DES) and other secret-key ciphers with keys of various sizes. The information obtained from these contests was of value to researchers and developers alike as they estimated the strength of algorithm sor applications against exhaustive key-search.
The RSA Challenge numbers are the kind we believe to be the hardest to factor; these numbers should be particularly challenging. These are the kind of numbers used in devising secure RSA cryptosystems.
On the other hand, Wikipedia provides better then currently archive RSA web page
The DES Challenges were a series of brute force attack contests created by RSA Security to highlight the lack of security provided by the Data Encryption Standard.
We have a question about on the details of DES challanges of RSA
- In the RSA DES challenges, how did the contestants know they had found the right key considering they weren't given any plaintext?
* RSA labs purchased by EMC and all of the RSA links come from archives.