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Date: Thu, 3 Apr 2014 10:54:29 +0400
From: Solar Designer <>
Subject: Re: [PHC] Catfish and public key hash

On Wed, Apr 02, 2014 at 08:36:01PM -0300, wrote:
> I would say that if the attacker needs more than 2x the amount of memory used by the defender to get less than a 2x speed-up, then the attacker is wasting resources: he/she could simply use two cores to get the same throughput... Unless the attacker model considers a limitation in number of cores, which does not seem to be the most common case.

It may well be the most common case (or at least a very common case):
attackers with CPUs.

While we focus on defeating GPUs/FPGAs/ASICs, let's not forget about CPUs,
which are used for password cracking a lot, simply because they're
readily available everywhere anyway (even when not most optimal for this
specific task).

So a 2x speedup for attacker vs. defender on a typical CPU+RAM system
is a major drawback.  In this case, I think the speedup is possible for
defenders as well, but only if they're willing to trade memory for it,
which may be a usability drawback (of this hashing scheme), then.


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