This is not a technical question, rather it seeks advice on what to do if cryptanalytic research goes wrong.
I think I discovered a new attack that works well in theory, but in practice, it fails. I don’t know why. Not found yet. Tried really hard. I do this alone. Not sure I can do it alone now.
All arithmetic works great with ordinary numbers, but in the case of cryptographical mathematics, all operations are still different from ordinary arithmetic. I thought that if the attack works in terms of general arithmetic properties/operations, it should also work in cryptographical mathematics. It was wrong.
Anyway, as I’m stuck I have a few options to proceed:
1. Publish a question about it in a public forum.
This can potentially bring new life to the project. Pass it on and help solve the problem.
But I’m afraid to divulge any details about this project, because it might hurt the trust and integrity in some cryptosystems. There are also concerns that another person/group of people may steal the idea, so that they can complete the project without me.
I am open to help, but at the same time, don’t want to be out of action. I want to be in the game, participating at full capacity.
2. Publish a research paper citing the failure.
It has some advantages and disadvantages of the first option, except that it can establish an early presence in the research world. This may cause some reaction to it, although it is not guaranteed. All promotional concerns are the same as in the first option.
3. Contact some cryptography experts with an offer to help.
I know some people who can help with the project, but connection wise – they are complete strangers to me. Not sure if I can trust them. If I leave the research work and reveal the project, they can steal it themselves.
As of now, I don’t have any friends/trusted people, who are able to help me with the project.
4. Contact the National Security Agency.
Also, not sure I can trust them. They could also take the idea and dump me without giving anything in return. However, they must have enough people and resources to complete the project.
5. Your suggestion?
I am open to any suggestions and ideas. With all the possibilities, it is really important to make the right decisions