Monday, June 18, 2012

No. 539: Cracking a 278-digit code in 148 days (June 18, 2012)

Researchers from Fujitsu Laboratories, National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NITC), and Kyushu University successfully cracked the next-generation code that supposedly needed several hundreds thousand years to crack in just 148 days. The code is 278 digits, surpassing the current highest 204 digits. The code they cracked is the pairing cryptography developed in 2001 assumed to be the next-generation technology of the public key encryption for Internet shopping.

The research team developed a method to find parts for easy cracking and cracked the pairing cryptography using 21 computers. If it had used the supercomputer Kei that is being upgraded by Riken and Fujitsu, it could have cracked the code in 13.6 minutes. A code is assumed to be safe enough from a practical viewpoint if a supercomputer with the highest performance at any given time needs more than one year to crack. According to the research team, the pairing cryptography will remains safe for the next 20 years if it is 1,011 digits.   

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