# Re: JSH: Ethics of a factoring solution

*From*: jstevh@xxxxxxx*Date*: 3 Jun 2006 08:22:06 -0700

rossum wrote:

On 2 Jun 2006 17:30:51 -0700, jstevh@xxxxxxx wrote:

I am wondering if I should continue my search for a solution to the[snip]

factoring problem if every time I think I have one I beat myself up

about the ethics of it.

When you post one of your solutions to the factoring problem there are

two possibilities:

1 It doesn't work.

2 It does work.

If it doesn't work then those people who think that you are kook will

only have their opinion confirmed. As William Bahn says, you should

not do this. If you are going to post anything here then make very

sure that a) it works and b) it works faster than trial factoring or

Fermat's two squares method. Your previous attempts did "work" but

were much slower than existing methods so were not practical.

Remember that I can find a solution to the RSA problem with a simple

trial factoring algorithm:

bigInt Factor(bigInt RSA) {

for (BigInt i = 2; i < RSA; ++i) {

if (RSA % i == 0) { return i; }

}

}

The real problem is finding a *fast* factoring method that will finish

in less than a million years.

If your method does work then you can break the news to to world

gently. As part of your testing to make sure that it works you can

factor one of the RSA numbers. Publish just the factors. Do not at

this point publish your factoring method. This will a) establish that

your method works, b) prove your ownership of a method, c) show that

you are not a crackpot and d) give the world due warning that RSA is

unsafe and that they should move to another encryption method. At

this point you do not release the actual method.

Ethically you are in the clear because you will have given the world

due warning and allowed time to change to a more secure method. Other

people will not be able to use your method because you will not have

released it yet.

Is it ethical to release the actual method? Once the world has had

enough time, say five years, to make the change then yes. But you do

have to wait five years or so after publishing the factors of the RSA

number to allow time for systems to be changed.

In short:

1 Develop your factoring method.

2 Test it. (This is where you have fallen down in the past - you

should learn from your mistakes.)

3 Factor an RSA number.

4 Publish the factors of the RSA number, but not the method you used.

Let's say for the sake of argument that I had this overwhelming

insight, like had this incredible dream with the solution to the

factoring problem, got up tomorrow, quickly programmed it and got the

factors of the next RSA number, and did what you said, posting them,

but not the method.

So, by this hypothetical scenario, I post factors tomorrow morning.

Wouldn't Monday open with a stock market crash?

Is that really ethical if I see that as a real possibility and do it

anyway?

James Harris

.

**Follow-Ups**:**Re: JSH: Ethics of a factoring solution***From:*Douglas A. Gwyn

**Re: JSH: Ethics of a factoring solution***From:*jt64

**Re: JSH: Ethics of a factoring solution***From:*Matthijs Hebly

**Re: JSH: Ethics of a factoring solution***From:*Salami Man

**Re: JSH: Ethics of a factoring solution***From:*Tim Peters

**Re: JSH: Ethics of a factoring solution***From:*Bruce Stephens

**Re: JSH: Ethics of a factoring solution***From:*Volker Hetzer

**References**:**JSH: Ethics of a factoring solution***From:*jstevh

**Re: JSH: Ethics of a factoring solution***From:*rossum

- Prev by Date:
**Re: Need RSA Encryption/Decryption Delays** - Next by Date:
**Shrinking Generators** - Previous by thread:
**Re: JSH: Ethics of a factoring solution** - Next by thread:
**Re: JSH: Ethics of a factoring solution** - Index(es):