Finding Prime Numbers with Robots

Elliptic curve cryptography (ECC) is an approach to public-key cryptography based on the algebraic
structure of elliptic curves over finite fields.

Elliptic curves are also used in several integer factorization algorithms that have applications in
cryptography, such as Lenstra elliptic curve factorization.

We are pleased to announce that we set a new record for the elliptic curve discrete logarithm
problem (ECDLP) by solving it over a 112-bit finite field. The previous record was for a 109-bit
prime field and dates back from October 2002. Our calculation was done on a cluster of
PlayStation 3 game consoles at the Laboratory for Cryptologic Algorithms at the EPFL.