Research NewsMathematics

Lattices May Put Security Codes on a Firmer Footing

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Science  23 Aug 1996:
Vol. 273, Issue 5278, pp. 1047-1048
DOI: 10.1126/science.273.5278.1047

Summary

Computer security experts have developed powerful techniques for encrypting data so that only the intended recipient, armed with the right key, can retrieve it. But these codes come without any absolute guarantee of security, because the mathematical problems they are based on may not be as hard to solve as they appear. A recent discovery in theoretical computer science comes close to providing such a guarantee by showing that examples picked from one class of problems are almost certain to be hard—the basis for an uncrackable code. Computers/Math.