A team of researchers sponsored by the Swiss National Science Foundation and the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) have cracked RSA 768-bit encryption.
In a paper on their findings, the researchers said that while 1,024-bit encryption is 1,000 times harder to break than 768-bit codes, they have estimated that within four to five years, 1,024-bit encryption will need to be phased out.
The researchers said, "Our computation required more than 100 million trillion operations. With the equivalent of almost 2,000 years of computing on a single core 2.2GHz AMD Opteron."
The researchers actually used several hundred processors to complete the task in two years. However, they noted, "The overall effort is sufficiently low that even for short-term protection of data of little value, 768-bit RSA moduli can no longer be recommended."