PC army tackles Xbox security code

Tuesday, 7 January 2003, 4:06 AM EST

The bid to break the video game console's encryption has been launched by the Neo project, a group of computing enthusiasts using distributed computing techniques to crack security challenges.

More than 3,500 Neo users were working on the Xbox project as of Monday morning, according to the project's Web site, and had already eliminated 776 million possibilities for the encryption key.

"The Xbox public key is 2,048 bits and nearly impossible to crack with today's methods in a reasonable time," project founder Mike Curry said via e-mail. "So, with that said, we decided to use a random method...that could send a result today, tomorrow or never."

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