It would take 32 TRILLION years to crack 3DES with a super computer. The Universe has been around for about 13 billion years.
Even if advanced interstellar travelers brought us a machine that could crack DES in ONE minute, it would still take 260,000 years to crack 3DES. Yeah.
3DES is a symmetric encryption machine. It encrypts the hell out of data making it near-impossible to figure out the original form in a reasonable time. 3DES is gonna be around for a long time even though AES is a stronger algorithim.
Stuff About 3DES
Applies DES 3 times (encrypt, encrypt/decrypt, encrypt) with different keys
Technically has a key length of 168 bits (DES uses 56 bit key length, 56×3), but effectively uses 112 bits (56×2) to prevent MITM attacks
64 bit symmetric block cipher, just like DES
DES has been cracked. It would have been secure back in the days of the Cray X-MP, but now we have multiple processors load balanced to work in parallel and crack DES in about a week.
It is the sheer amount of time that has to be taken (with supercomputers) to crack 3DES which makes it a stronger option over DES.
Meaning, it takes longer to crack.
To prove this to myself, I used a neat little program called Cryptool to perform the following steps:
Below is a piece of plaintext about private network information that needs to be encrypted.
Create an Encryption Key
As we’re all learning in our CISSP studies, DES uses a 64 bit key length with 56 bits being usable.
3DES in this instance is using DES twice with 112 usable bits.
The symmetric key is the numbers 1-9 repeating over.
As you can see, a brute force on 3DES using ECB is going to take a significantly longer period of time than DES using ECB.
To be precise, it would take 21 SEXTILLION years to crack 3DES with my computer (not taking into account Moore’s Law).
DES would take 17,000 years.
I’m in my early 30s, and currently running an Intel i7 CPU 3.0 Ghz with 8GB of RAM.
If I live to be 100 years old, the progress on either of those brute force attacks will probably still remain at 0%.
The Cryptography domain was intimidating at first, but after reading such mind blowing numbers and what measures are taken to provide confidentiality, integrity, and non-repudiation, cryptography started to become pretty cool.