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New algorithm shakes up cryptography

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Posted May 23, 2014

Researchers at the Laboratoire Lorrain de Recherches en Informatique et ses Applications (CNRS/Université de Lorraine/Inria) and the Laboratoire d’Informatique de Paris 6 (CNRS/UPMC) have solved one aspect of the discrete logarithm problem. This is considered to be one of the ‘holy grails’ of algorithmic number theory, on which the security of many cryptographic systems used today is based. They have devised a new algorithm that calls into question the security of one variant of this problem, which has been closely studied since 1976.

This result, published on the site of the International Association of Cryptologic Research and on the HAL open access archive, was presented at the international conference Eurocrypt 2014 held in Copenhagen on 11-15 May 2014 and published in Advances in cryptology. It discredits several  that until now were assumed to provide sufficient  safeguards. Although this work is still theoretical, it is likely to have repercussions especially on the cryptographic applications of smart cards, RFID chips, etc.

To protect confidentiality of information, cryptography seeks to use mathematical problems that are difficult to solve, even for the most powerful machines and the most sophisticated algorithms.

Read more at: Phys.org

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