Google Changes SSL Certificates to use 2048-bit keys

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Several of Google’s services will be receiving certificate upgrades by the end of the year. In a blogpost, the company’s Director of Information Security Engineering says that the upgrade is scheduled to begin on the 1st of August. The root certificate which currently uses a 1024-bit key will also be changed during this exercise. The SSL industry has seen a push towards 2048-bit certificates, over the past year major certificate authorities have been notifying users to update from 1024 to 2048-bit keys.

Breaking the RSA-1024 has long been a challenge in cryptography but currently there exists methods by which this can be achieved. According to a thesis by Ramakrishna Bachimanchi, factoring large integers can be achieved by rho, p-1 and elliptic methods. The elliptic method of factoring has already been presented in a thesis by Mohammed Khaleeluddin. The rho and p-1 methods have been implemented in FPGA and ASIC technologies. Compared to FPGAs, ASICs provide higher frequency over a smaller area.

Image credit: xkcd

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