As discussed, the security of RSA relies on the computational difficulty of factoring large integers. As computing power increases and more efficient factoring algorithms are discovered, the ability to factor larger and larger numbers also increases. Encryption strength is directly tied to key size, and doubling key length delivers an exponential increase in strength, although it does impair performance. RSA keys are typically 1024- or 2048-bits long, but experts believe that 1024-bit keys could be broken in the near future, which is why government and industry are moving to a minimum key length of 2048-bits. Barring an unforeseen breakthrough in quantum computing , it should be many years before longer keys are required, but elliptic curve cryptography is gaining favor with many security experts as an alternative to RSA for implementing public-key cryptography. It can create faster, smaller and more efficient cryptographic keys. Much of today’s hardware and software is ECC-ready and its popularity is likely to grow as it can deliver equivalent security with lower computing power and battery resource usage, making it more suitable for mobile apps than RSA. Finally, a team of researchers which included Adi Shamir, a co-inventor of RSA, has successfully determined a 4096-bit RSA key using acoustic cryptanalysis, however any encryption algorithm is vulnerable to this type of attack.
Even using the simple watermarking method described, it can be difficult to distinguish some watermarks. Watermarks on stamps printed in yellow and orange can be particularly difficult to see. A few mechanical devices are also used by collectors to detect watermarks on stamps such as the Morley-Bright watermark detector and the more expensive Safe Signoscope. Such devices can be very useful for they can be used without the application of watermark fluid and also allow the collector to look at the watermark for a longer period of time to more easily detect the watermark.