Cryptographers Solve 'Unbreakable' Code

21 computers unravel 923-bit code in 148 days
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 22, 2012 2:55 PM CDT
It was supposed to take thousands of years to break. Code-crackers took it down in 148 days.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – A code that scientists thought should take at least thousands of years to unravel was cracked in a mere 148 days by 21 computers working in unison, reports CNET. The solution to the 278-character, 923-bit code broke a world record in cryptanalysis, and the victorious team of technologists used "next-generation" techniques to achieve the feat, writes Dara Kerr.

For those interested in the nitty gritty, the breakthrough involves something called "pairing-based" cryptography as opposed to "public-key" cryptography, and Kerr explains the easier-to-understand benefits: "Researchers' efforts to crack this type of code is useful because it helps companies, governments, and organizations better understand how secure their electronic information needs to be." (Read more cryptography stories.)

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