Cracking the Data Encryption Standard

Interhack founder Matt Curtin will present Cracking the Data Encryption Standard to the Open Source Club at The Ohio State University on April 24, 2014.

The Open Source Club will meet at Caldwell Labs Room 120 on the campus of The Ohio State University at 7 P.M. on April 24, 2014. Matt Curtin will discuss the first project in open research to break a message encrypted with the sitting US standard for data encryption, 56-bit DES.

While the effort was one of the largest distributed computing efforts undertaken and for the purpose of cracking cryptographic keys, the project changed the tone of public policy debates in the United States Congress and the policy of the Clinton Administration.

Curtin's presentation will discuss the technical, policy, and social aspects of a self-organizing group and the kind of power that can be brought to bear on problems through the use of the Internet as a platform. In addition to the material covered in his 2005 book, Brute Force: Cracking the Data Encryption Standard, Curtin will look at the effort retrospectively and in particular note how the 1990s Crypto Wars relate directly to the policy of the Bush and Obama administrations to use military surveillance targeting Americans at home.

About the Open Source Club at The Ohio State University

The Open Source Club is a student organization dedicated to the topic of open source software. Focus includes development of the community of open source software users and developers. Matt Curtin hosted the first meeting of the club in his University office and served as the club's first faculty advisor. The Open Source Club is online at

About Interhack

Interhack Corporation is a computer expert firm engaged by attorneys and executives to conduct technical operations and develop opinions using the best information that computer science can provide. The firm provides information security assessments, forensic computer and data analysis, and electronic discovery services for clients throughout North America. More information is available online at