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Primeur weekly 2015-03-30

Exascale supercomputing

PRACEdays15 to include EESI2 Final Conference, Women in HPC, and Enabling Exascale in Europe ...

The Cloud

HP delivers first fully-configured and integrated OpenStack and Cloud Foundry-based private Cloud ...

Desktop Grids

BOINC 7.4.42 released to the public ...

EuroFlash

Altair Engineering announces keynote speakers from Airbus, Jaguar Land Rover and Bloodhound SSC to present at the 9th UK Altair Technology Conference ...

UK Atomic Weapons Establishment awards SGI contract to support research with new SGI ICE XA systems ...

Cray to deliver five-petaflop supercomputer and high-performance storage system to Petroleum Geo-Services ...

Theory of the Strong Interaction verified - Supercomputer calculates mass difference between neutron and proton ...

Lenovo opens first global High Performance Computing innovation centre in Germany ...

A rehearsal space with musicians 2,700 kilometers apart from each other ...

A first glimpse inside a macroscopic quantum state ...

USFlash

Automotive, aerospace and defense take centre stage at the 2015 Americas Altair Technology Conference ...

Big Data allows computer engineers to find genetic clues in humans ...

SGI delivers cutting-edge supercomputer to the National Institute for Materials Science ...

Supercomputers give universities a competitive edge, researchers find ...

Engineers develop new methods to speed up simulations in computational grand challenge ...

Micron and Intel unveil new 3D NAND flash memory ...

India's National Supercomputing Mission (NSM): Building capacity and capability to be jointly implemented by the Department of Science and Technology and Department of Electronics and Information Technology ...

U.S. Army improves systems testing to deliver more capability to fight ...

Quantum compute this - WSU mathematicians build code to take on toughest of cyber attacks ...

IBM invests in Modernizing Medicine to accelerate adoption of Watson technologies in health care ...

Quantum correlation can imply causation ...

From programmable backbones to advanced 'apps': An end-to-end vision of the future Internet ...

Building shape inspires new material discovery ...

UW scientists build a nanolaser using a single atomic sheet ...

OpenPOWER Foundation technology leaders unveil hardware solutions to deliver new server alternatives ...

Quantum compute this - WSU mathematicians build code to take on toughest of cyber attacks


Rebecca Phillips
26 Mar 2015 Pullman - Washington State University (WSU) mathematicians have designed an encryption code capable of fending off the phenomenal hacking power of a quantum computer. Using high-level number theory and cryptography, the researchers reworked an infamous old cipher called the knapsack code to create an online security system better prepared for future demands. The findings were recently published in the journalThe Fibonacci Quarterly.

Quantum computers operate on the subatomic level and theoretically provide processing power that is millions, if not billions of times faster than silicon-based computers. Several companies are in the race to develop quantum computers including Google.

Internet security is no match for a quantum computer, said Nathan Hamlin, instructor and director of the WSU Math Learning Center. That could spell future trouble for online transactions ranging from buying a book on Amazon to simply sending an e-mail.

Nathan Hamlin said quantum computers would have no trouble breaking present security codes, which rely on public key encryption to protect the exchanges.

In a nutshell, public key code uses one public "key" for encryption and a second private "key" for decoding. The system is based on the factoring of impossibly large numbers and, so far, has done a good job keeping computers safe from hackers.

Quantum computers, however, can factor these large numbers very quickly, Nathan Hamlin said. But problems like the knapsack code slow them down.

Fortunately, many of the large data breaches in recent years are the result of employee carelessness or bribes and not of cracking the public key encryption code, he said.

Looking to protect future online information, Nathan Hamlin and retired mathematics professor William Webb turned to the long-abandoned knapsack code. To bring it up to quantum level - and possibly use it as a new type of public key encryption - the researchers first engineered new numbering systems for the code.

"We used alternate ways of representing numbers", stated Nathan Hamlin.

In effect, they created new digital systems with much greater complexity than society's day-to-day decimal and binary systems.

"By using very complicated number strings, we produced a new version of the knapsack code that can't be broken by the usual cyber attack methods", stated William Webb.

As a result, Nathan Hamlin and William Webb believe the redesigned knapsack code could offer a viable alternative for public key encryption with quantum computing.

The knapsack problem is a theoretical puzzle dating back to at least 1897 and is very difficult to solve in its most general form.

"Basically, it asks if you have one big number (the knapsack) and lots of small numbers (objects), what is the subset of small numbers - or objects - that will perfectly fill the knapsack? The concept was used to create a code called the knapsack code", explained William Webb.

"The knapsack code was originally suggested as a tool for public key encryption in the 1970s, but it was broken by two different methods and people lost interest in it", he stated.

William Webb's idea to bring it out of storage was at first an intellectual exercise.

"Knapsack is a simple, elegant code but it was broken", stated William Webb. "We wondered if it could be fixed and redesigned to be secure. The challenge was intriguing."

Nathan Hamlin said they made corrections at the fundamental level of the code, which repaired many of its weak spots. This let it block a greater array of cyber attacks, including those using basis reduction, one of the decoding methods used to break the original knapsack code, he said.

"Basis reduction is a big hammer to use against this code and, after testing, we think it's secure against this type of attack and would offer an alternative code for quantum computing", Nathan Hamlin stated.

William Webb said although it still needs outside testing, the remodeled knapsack code holds promise for making future online computer transactions considerably more secure.

"Essentially any time you want to send secure messages over the Internet, you need a public key code. This is another candidate for a useful code", he stated.

WSU Associate Professor Bala Krishnamoorthy also took part in the research.
Source: Washington State University

Back to Table of contents

Primeur weekly 2015-03-30

Exascale supercomputing

PRACEdays15 to include EESI2 Final Conference, Women in HPC, and Enabling Exascale in Europe ...

The Cloud

HP delivers first fully-configured and integrated OpenStack and Cloud Foundry-based private Cloud ...

Desktop Grids

BOINC 7.4.42 released to the public ...

EuroFlash

Altair Engineering announces keynote speakers from Airbus, Jaguar Land Rover and Bloodhound SSC to present at the 9th UK Altair Technology Conference ...

UK Atomic Weapons Establishment awards SGI contract to support research with new SGI ICE XA systems ...

Cray to deliver five-petaflop supercomputer and high-performance storage system to Petroleum Geo-Services ...

Theory of the Strong Interaction verified - Supercomputer calculates mass difference between neutron and proton ...

Lenovo opens first global High Performance Computing innovation centre in Germany ...

A rehearsal space with musicians 2,700 kilometers apart from each other ...

A first glimpse inside a macroscopic quantum state ...

USFlash

Automotive, aerospace and defense take centre stage at the 2015 Americas Altair Technology Conference ...

Big Data allows computer engineers to find genetic clues in humans ...

SGI delivers cutting-edge supercomputer to the National Institute for Materials Science ...

Supercomputers give universities a competitive edge, researchers find ...

Engineers develop new methods to speed up simulations in computational grand challenge ...

Micron and Intel unveil new 3D NAND flash memory ...

India's National Supercomputing Mission (NSM): Building capacity and capability to be jointly implemented by the Department of Science and Technology and Department of Electronics and Information Technology ...

U.S. Army improves systems testing to deliver more capability to fight ...

Quantum compute this - WSU mathematicians build code to take on toughest of cyber attacks ...

IBM invests in Modernizing Medicine to accelerate adoption of Watson technologies in health care ...

Quantum correlation can imply causation ...

From programmable backbones to advanced 'apps': An end-to-end vision of the future Internet ...

Building shape inspires new material discovery ...

UW scientists build a nanolaser using a single atomic sheet ...

OpenPOWER Foundation technology leaders unveil hardware solutions to deliver new server alternatives ...