Encryption | Less Secure Than We Thought

For 65 years, most information-theoretic analyses of cryptographic systems have made a mathematical assumption that turns out to be wrong. Why does this matter? Do you like the way we do things now? Because it’s all about to change.

Muriel Medard

Information theory — the discipline that gave us digital communication and data compression — also put cryptography on a secure mathematical foundation. Since 1948, when the paper that created information theory first appeared, most information-theoretic analyses of secure schemes have depended on a common assumption.

Unfortunately, as a group of researchers at MIT and the National University of Ireland (NUI) at Maynooth, demonstrated in a paper presented at the recent International Symposium on Information Theory (view PDF), that assumption is false. In a follow-up paper being presented this fall at the Asilomar Conference on Signals and Systems, the same team shows that, as a consequence, the wireless card readers used in many keyless-entry systems may not be as secure as previously thought.  |  Read The Full MIT Review Story

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