Wireless Office

Mike Kallies mike.kallies-Re5JQEeQqe8AvxtiuMwx3w at public.gmane.org
Wed Dec 31 15:47:16 UTC 2008

Fernando Duran wrote:
> That's incorrect; precisely the beauty of asymmetric
> (public-key) cryptography is that users can
> communicate securely over a public channel. 
> Several cryptographic methods have been proven to be
> mathematically secure. A different issue of course are...

Now that would be *BIG* news.

Just to split hairs, public key algorithms have never actually been
*mathematically* proven. There's still a chance that some bizzare
mathematical theory will appear which can cause the very principle of
public key encryption to crumble.

The whole thing hinges on an idea that some problems require more
computational power to solve than others.  E.g., multiplying two primes
together is easier than it is to factor the product of two primes.

The proof thing is academic though.  The sentiment is totally right.
The best minds in the world have staked their reputation on testing,
investigating and researching ways to break these things and while
particular methods might have had vulnerabilities which changed the
amount of computation required, none have reported success in shaking
the underlying principle.

"As for other popular public key cryptosystems, no mathematical proof of
difficulty has been published for ECC as of 2006[update]. However, the
U.S. National Security Agency has endorsed ECC technology by including
it in its Suite B set of recommended algorithms and allows their use for
protecting information classified up to top secret with 384-bit keys.[4]
Although the RSA patent has expired, there are patents in force covering
some aspects of ECC."


(...with the bizzare exception of quantum computing
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shor%27s_algorithm )

Does anyone have any better sources?

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