Could the Alan Turing Machine break into Office 365?

I just finished watching 'The Imitation Game' (which was excellent by the way) and it's got me thinking about the encryption methods used in everyday communication.  The German scientists' Enigma machine was believed to be impossible to crack. In the movie they mention that the Enigma machine had 159,000,000,000,000,000,000 possible settings and would have taken 10 men 20 million years to try every setting. Today, a smartphone could potentially crack the code within minutes, maybe even instantly.

Obviously, encryption technology has moved on and today many of our everyday web based communication is encrypted. Typically, we see encryption measured in 'bits' - most e-commerce websites might use 128-bit encryption so how long would it take to crack it? OK, so let's assume the following:

  • Every person on the planet owns 10 computers
  • There are 7 billion people on the planet
  • Each person's computer can test 1 billion key combinations per second
  • On average, you can crack the key after testing 50% of the possibilities

OK, want to know what the answer is? 

77,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years

Now take Office 365, for example - encryption makes up only part of the Service-Level Security. Microsoft have created a defence strategy that protects your data through layers of security (at the physical, logical and data layers) in the service.

There's a ton of information over at the Office 365 Trust Center explaining in detail what measures are in place to protect your data. In the meantime, check out this video