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View Poll Results: The manual will be cracked in...?
A few Minutes. 10 7.58%
A few hours. 24 18.18%
Never. 41 31.06%
FIRSTers have to high a moral ground and will wait until Saturday (where's the fun in that!!) 57 43.18%
Voters: 132. You may not vote on this poll

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Unread 01-07-2004, 09:02 AM
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The Manuall will be cracked in...

So by now some of you have no doubt heard that the manual will be avalible Thursday Night on the First site in Encrypted form. (RC-128) Here is my question how long will it take for some industrious FIRSTers to break into it?? ;-) I could probable secure a beowulf cluster for the effort.
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Unread 01-07-2004, 09:09 AM
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Re: The Manuall will be cracked in...

wouldnt it be great if the manual was encoded in such a way that, there were more than one keys that would give you readable output

bot only one would give you the correct output

so a team might hack the manual and THINK they can read it - but what they are reading is all wrong?
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Unread 01-07-2004, 09:28 AM
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Re: The Manuall will be cracked in...

Quote:
Originally Posted by KenWittlief
wouldnt it be great if the manual was encoded in such a way that, there were more than one keys that would give you readable output

bot only one would give you the correct output

so a team might hack the manual and THINK they can read it - but what they are reading is all wrong?
B-E-A-utiful !

But I am wondering why only 8 of 12 sections are being released. If there is a security concern then why release anything? Otherwise why not release it all ? Also, the timing stinks - I will be traveling to KO on Thursday evening, as I suspect most of the other attendees will also. Anyone know if SNHU has a wireless network?
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Unread 01-07-2004, 09:31 AM
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Re: The Manuall will be cracked in...

I think the reason for only having 8 of 12 sections on Thursday is because what is the purpose of encoding parts of the manual that are not relavent at all to the game this year. Meaning the part for scholarships and such. Just a guess here, as is everything else at this point...
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Unread 01-07-2004, 09:37 AM
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Re: The Manuall will be cracked in...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Garver
... what is the purpose of encoding parts of the manual that are not relavent at all to the game this year...
I never thought of that ... good point!

That actually makes sense - which is why it probably is NOT the "right" answer ... (sorry I've been around big business too long)
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Unread 01-07-2004, 10:57 AM
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IMHO, It should not be released until no more than 24 hours before the contest start.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KenWittlief
wouldnt it be great if the manual was encoded in such a way that, there were more than one keys that would give you readable output [but] only one would give you the correct output
so a team might hack the manual and THINK they can read it - but what they are reading is all wrong?
LOL! Funny idea!

Gee... IMHO, this close to the contest it really doesn't matter. Even if someone DID crack it, you can't do much with only an extra 24 hours of "advance notice", and most people (at least those of us with a life!) wish to go out and have a nice Friday night!

Seriously though, any password will either generate garbage, or the real output. But it IS true that many DIFFERENT combinations of characters CAN potentially unlock it, and most analysis software simply generates the very first key it finds that does the job. Therefore, if someone DOES manage to open it that way, go ahead and PROVE you did it (AFTER the manual has been officially released) by posting an ALTERNATIVE key to unlock it. That would be a good wakeup call. BTW, commercial services charge big bucks and may take up to 25-30 days to return your opened PDF file, so if you want to wait until the middle of the build for it, go ahead!

Personally, I think it's a tactical mistake to release the manual over one day in advance. After all, you've sponsors from EVERY industry, and many have some SERIOUS supercomputers at their disposal for things like finite element analysis work. For example, I used to work in the building at an automotive supplier, with an ARRAY of supercomputers at my disposal for just that. I don't THINK they had "forgotten password" software loaded on it, but I never checked. There ARE legit uses for that, such as opening vital internal company documents to keep your own business in operation when an employee quits or suddenly dies. Given the right sponsor in the right position with the right computers at their disposal, it may be able to be opened VERY quickly. Therefore, if *I* were in FIRST's position, I'd simply make it a policy of releasing the encoded version no more than 24 hours before the true unveiling.

- Keith
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Unread 01-07-2004, 11:29 AM
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Re: The Manuall will be cracked in...

frankly i haven't seen any cracker that can get through 128 bit encryption (most are 40 bit) plus it would take a few days (most likely more than the two days we will get) to brute force crack the documents anyways (unless you have some server farm working together), either way it is probably just easier to wait.
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Unread 01-07-2004, 11:41 AM
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Re: The Manuall will be cracked in...

Recently, FIRST was gettting a little upset about some of the activity on these boards, such as people trying to circumvent the rules.

There's nothing worse than when you try to help someone out and they take advantage of you. Along those lines, how about we not try and crack the manual and keep FIRST happy with all of us so they continue to do nice things for us in the future?

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Last edited by Chris Hibner : 01-07-2004 at 01:16 PM.
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Unread 01-07-2004, 11:54 AM
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Re: The Manuall will be cracked in...

Not that I would be stupid enough to do it, but with a P4 it would take about a week to crack a 4 character password, somewhere in the neighborhood of 7 weeks to crack a 5 character password, and it just gets incredibly large after that. Employing a "supercomputer" really won't help because anything that could crack that fast enough probably isn't running Windows which is what most "password recovery" programs run on.

It's pointless...just wait a day.
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Unread 01-07-2004, 11:57 AM
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Re: The Manuall will be cracked in...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremy_Mc
Not that I would be stupid enough to do it, but with a P4 it would take about a week to crack a 4 character password, somewhere in the neighborhood of 7 weeks to crack a 5 character password, and it just gets incredibly large after that. Employing a "supercomputer" really won't help because anything that could crack that fast enough probably isn't running Windows which is what most "password recovery" programs run on.

It's pointless...just wait a day.
Exactly. Plus - what is the REAL advantage? When you find out - it's not like you can call your whole team togther. I say just wait the day - and just be shocked and have fun like the rest of us will!
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Unread 01-07-2004, 12:18 PM
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Question Re: The Manuall will be cracked in...

the only reason they are releasing the encrypted files early is so their server is not swamped at 10:01AM on saturday

950+ teams all trying to download 10 or 20MBytes of files at the same time

actually I dont need the manual for the first couple days anyway - our team will spend the first meeting or two analysizing the game, how you score points, to determine what our robot needs to do to score the most points under the worst case conditions

all we need for that is the description of the game, and how to calculate the score at the end.
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Unread 01-07-2004, 04:21 PM
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Re: The Manuall will be cracked in...

sure it could be cracked (in more than a few days with a supercomputer.), but so what? a 2 day advance on the rules? you still havent seen the game played, so you'll be confused as heck, and whats a 2 day gain on strategy? not much.
not to mention its not in the spirit of FIRST to get an unfair advantage on the rules.
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Unread 01-07-2004, 04:26 PM
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Re: The Manuall will be cracked in...

its a short term encoding used by the goverment at one point in the past... of course it can be cracked, but unless you have 72hrs straight free time... doubt you're gonna crack it before saturday
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Unread 01-07-2004, 04:29 PM
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Re: The Manuall will be cracked in...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin
So by now some of you have no doubt heard that the manual will be avalible Thursday Night on the First site in Encrypted form. (RC-128) Here is my question how long will it take for some industrious FIRSTers to break into it?? ;-) I could probable secure a beowulf cluster for the effort.
I'm not trying to be a butt or anything, but isn't this thread against forum rules?

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Unread 01-07-2004, 04:32 PM
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Re: The Manuall will be cracked in...

[quote=Clark Gilbert]I'm not trying to be a butt or anything, but isn't this thread against forum rules?[quote]
eh i would say technically yes, but in reality no. i doubt it would be illegal to crack the manual password, this is more of an intellectual challenge.
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