Feeds

Harvard prof in uncrackable crypto claim

But not everyone is convinced

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Build a business case: developing custom apps

A Harvard computer science professor says he has developed a provably unbreakable encryption technique, with a key based on a stream of random numbers.

The idea of a disposable key is not new, and was used to great effect during World War II, but according to Dr Michael Rabin, this is the first time it has been made to work electronically. Rabin said that he could also provide mathematical proof of its security.

"This is the first provably unbreakable code that is really efficient," Rabin told Cryptome. "We have proved that the adversary is helpless."

The key is taken from a continuously generated string of random numbers. Somehow, the sender and recipient agree on which section of the number string they will use to encipher and then decipher the message.

The two parties could use any publicly available encryption system to decide on the start time, Rabin says. If someone were to intercept this communication, by the time it was decrypted, the sequence would already have started and the information would be useless.

Then, because the numbers are not stored anywhere on either machine, there is no way either party could be forced to hand over the key.

However, not everyone is convinced that having an uncrackable code is a guarantee of security.

Dr Robert Morris, a former NSA cryptographer, said that there were other methods of revealing the contents of a secure message. "You can still get the message, but maybe not by cryptanalysis. If you're in this business, you go after a reasonably cheap, reliable method. It may be one of the three Bs: burglary, bribery or blackmail," he said. ®

Related Link

The full story and a discussion of the method is over at Cryptome.

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.