Biclique cryptanalysis on AES
Microsoft researchers found a way to reduce to complexity to crack an AES encrypted message by about 2 bit. While this sounds not like much it is. Let's take AES-128 as an example. This is most 'unsecure' version of AES since it uses an 128 bit key to encrypt the data. AES-192 or AES-256 uses 192 bit or 256 bit keys which are *much* more work to crack.
If you want to brute force an AES-128 encrypted text you would have to try 2128 (that is a number with 38 digits) different keys. Using this new method you would "only" have to check 2126.1 (this is still a number with 37 digits) different keys.
So yes AES (and with it your banking information) is still safe. These things are most likely encrypted with AES-256 (which has 2254.4 keys - a number with 76 digits).
Anyways this is the first real attack on AES that I know about. Quite interesting read :)
Aug 18th 2011, 17:48 by Sylence.