768-bit Number Factored
On December 12, 2009, we factored the 768-bit, 232-digit number RSA-768 by the number field sieve. The number RSA-768 was taken from the now obsolete RSA Challenge list as a representative 768-bit RSA modulus. This result is a record for factoring general integers. Factoring a 1024-bit RSA modulus would be about a thousand times harder, and a 768-bit RSA modulus is several thousands times harder to factor than a 512-bit one. Because the first factorization of a 512-bit RSA modulus was reported only a decade ago it is not unreasonable to expect that 1024-bit RSA moduli can be factored well within the next decade by an academic effort such as ours…. Thus, it would be prudent to phase out usage of 1024-bit RSA within the next three to four years.
Our computation required more than 1020 operations. With the equivalent of almost 2000 years of computing on a single core 2.2GHz AMD Opteron, on the order of 267 instructions were carried out. 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.