# Breaking DES using a molecular computer

**Authors:**

*D. Boneh, C. Dunworth, and R. Lipton*

** Abstract: **

Adleman showed that a small traveling salesman
problem can be solved by molecular operations. In this paper we show
how the same principles can be applied to breaking the
Data Encryption Standard (DES). We describe
in detail a library of operations which are useful when working
with a DNA computer. We estimate that given one arbitrary
(plain-text, cipher-text) pair, one can recover the DES key in about 4
months
of work. Furthermore, we show that under chosen
plain-text attack it is possible to recover the DES key in one day using
some preprocessing. Our method can be generalized to break any
cryptosystem which uses keys of length less than 64 bits.

** Reference:**

In Proceedings of DIMACS workshop on DNA computing, 1995.
published by the AMS

**Full paper:**
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