Saturday, January 20, 2007


Decompression Bombs

`The thing is, if you carefully construct an example document, you can get a compression ratio much higher. How much higher? MUCH, MUCH higher. For example, if you created a PNG image containing just one colour repeated over and over then you could easily get a 1000:1 ratio. For a text document containing 1 character repeated over and over, it’s possible to shrink 100Gb to about 6k. Think about that, it is a huge difference: 1.7e7:1.

That’s all well and good as an interesting experiment, but what does it mean for an average user? Imagine I had constructed one of those zip files that had shrunk 100Gb down to 6k and I sent you that file. If you trusted me, you might try to open it. Therein lies the problem [..]’

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