COPACOBANA - A Cost-Optimized Special-Purpose Hardware for Code-Breaking

Sandeep Kumar, Chris­tof Paar, Jan Pelzl, G. Pfeiffer, M. Schimmler

poster summary, IEEE Symposium on Field-Programmable Custom Computing Machines, FCCM 2006, Napa, CA,USA, April 24-26, 2006.


Cryptanalysis of symmetric and asymmetric ciphers is computationally extremely demanding. Since the security parameters of almost all practical crypto algorithms are chosen such that attacks with conventional computers are computationally infeasible, the only promising way to tackle existing ciphers (assuming no mathematical breakthrough) is to build special-purpose hardware. This contribution presents a special-purpose hardware labeled COPACOBANA (Cost-Optimized Parallel Code Breaker), which is optimized for running cryptanalytical algorithms with low communication overhead. The price-performance ratio as primary and a cost margin of less than US$ 10,000 as secondary design goal led to a recon?gurable computer built as cluster of programmable logic devices.