Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

"Nearly Unbreakable" Encryption Scheme Inspired By Human Biology

timothy posted about 6 months ago | from the just-ask-the-creator dept.

Encryption 179

rjmarvin (3001897) writes "Researchers at the U.K.'s Lancaster University have reimagined the fundamental logic behind encryption, stumbling across a radically new way to encrypt data while creating software models to simulate how the human heart and lungs coordinate rhythms. The encryption method published in the American Physical Society journal and filed as a patent entitled 'Encoding Data Using Dynamic System Coupling,' transmits and receive multiple encrypted signals simultaneously, creating an unlimited number of possibilities for the shared encryption key and making it virtually impossible to decrypt using traditional methods. One of the researchers, Peter McClintock, called the encryption scheme 'nearly unbreakable.'

cancel ×

179 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Crypto hype (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46676609)

Every intelligence everywhere can invent an encryption scheme it can't break.
Don't ever use any crypto algorithm the experts haven't been attacking and publishing about for a while.

Re:Crypto hype (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46676829)

Every intelligence everywhere can invent an encryption scheme it can't break. Don't ever use any crypto algorithm the experts haven't been attacking and publishing about for a while.

While we are giving good advice: do not fraternize with niggers. Anybody that thinks being a thug is cool is a god damned loser.

Re:Crypto hype (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46677303)

I wonder if this article got accepted due to a typo. Maybe a reviewer of the article wanted to comment "this is probably secure", but mistyped it as "this is provably secure".

Re:Crypto hype (2)

mikael (484) | about 6 months ago | (#46677365)

Heart and Lung rhythms are regulated using systems known as reaction-diffusion systems. An entire system is represented by a grid of cells, with every cell is at a particular state with a mix of chemicals, typicall named A,B,C ... There's the reaction part where A->2B, B->B+A, and then there's the diffusion part where the state of each cell is combined with it's neighbors. Each iteration calculates the new state of each cell, and applies the diffusion.

Imagine if you stored your message as particular chemical levels, then ran a few thousand iterations - you would get a new unique state.

But it would seem extremely hard to roll backwards.

Re:Crypto hype (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46677635)

Yeah, if only cryptographers knew about such novel concepts as confusion and diffusion [wikipedia.org] ...

Re:Crypto hype (1)

wagnerrp (1305589) | about 6 months ago | (#46677667)

Rolling backwards is exactly what you need to do to decrypt the message, which is the same process for an eavesdropper or the intended recipient. If you increase the complexity of the key, or the complexity of the encryption algorithm, you are making decryption a more exhausting process for the intended recipient. Encryption only works because the method of trying the one correct key is much less expensive than trying all possible keys. There is nothing revolutionary about this algorithm, it is merely evolutionary to continue increasing complexity to maintain security against ever improving computers.

Famous last words (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46676613)

Its unbreakable...

Downgraded to "nearly" unbrakeable

Kinda like global "warming" now downgraded to global climate "change"

Re:Famous last words (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46676717)

The median temperature of earth is still rising and has been for a while now. Thus, global warming is still a valid theory and part of the wider theory of climate change.

Re:Famous last words (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46676819)

"Global Warming" aka "Climate Change" I do not deny; it's the man made component which I refuse to believe.

Re:Famous last words (0, Offtopic)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 6 months ago | (#46676915)

So all the hot stuff we've been chucking into our environment for the last couple centuries just magickally went away? All the CO and SO2 likewise? All the forests that have been cleared sprang up anew someplace else that only you managed to notice?

I just try really hard not to think too much about the many mental hoops some folks must jump through to avoid conclusions that should be patently obvious to any 6th-grader of reasonable intelligence.

Re:Famous last words (0)

Richy_T (111409) | about 6 months ago | (#46676989)

Wow. Could you squeeze maybe one more logical fallacy in there?

Re:Famous last words (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46677195)

He's "touched in the head" admittedly http://slashdot.org/comments.p... [slashdot.org] you expect too much from the likes of a loon like Zontar the mindless troll.

Re:Famous last words (1, Offtopic)

letherial (1302031) | about 6 months ago | (#46677369)

you never did answer his questions, infact, you seem to shut the argument down rather quickly which leads me to believe you dont have one.

If his logical fallacy is wrong, whats your argument? how is it that our temperature in a 100 years has grown so fast when normally stuff like this takes thousands of years. Do you really believe that cutting all these trees down and dumping all the co2 in the air is ok? if so why do you believe that? Do you not understand how greenhouse gasses work? If so, explain how dumping a bunch of co2 in the air is ok, if not go read up on it and then answer my question...its ok, ill wait....... What about how the temperature has risen with the co2 levels to a frighting degree of similarity?

There are alot of reasons to believe man is involved, can you provide some logical reason why man is not involved?

Please provide some intelligent argument, your little one liners are cute and amusing, but in no way do the explain the opposing side, infact...i have never really heard a opposing argument, no logical explanation for any of my questions and many more.

Re:Famous last words (1, Interesting)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 6 months ago | (#46677863)

If his logical fallacy is wrong, whats your argument? how is it that our temperature in a 100 years has grown so fast when normally stuff like this takes thousands of years.

One argument is that it doesn't take thousands of years. That the sampled period just does not account for the whole temperature variance. Otherwise how do you explain the medieval warm period or the roman warm period?

Do you really believe that cutting all these trees down and dumping all the co2 in the air is ok?

In developed countries the amount of forested area is increasing [wikipedia.org] not decreasing. Most of the decrease in forested area is in places where they practice slash and burn agriculture. You know the kind that does not use chemical fertilizer.

Re:Famous last words (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 6 months ago | (#46678037)

I'm willing to bet that the amount of forested area has not increased over the last few centuries.

Re:Famous last words (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46677185)

Check your spelling mindless dolt ("magickally"), you cretin.

Re:Famous last words (1)

Zontar The Mindless (9002) | about 6 months ago | (#46677939)

Take it up with Aleister Crowley, kiddo.

Re:Famous last words (0, Offtopic)

Immerman (2627577) | about 6 months ago | (#46677381)

Which part do you have difficulty accepting?

The "greenhouse effect" of CO2?
This is a pretty well established, and can be easily tested in microcosm in the lab. We know the transparency of the atmosphere, and we know that CO2 absorbs strongly in a part of the infrared spectrum that the atmosphere is otherwise mostly transparent to, a part that corresponds roughly with part of the peak at which the Earth's surface measurably radiates heat in order to maintain thermal equilibrium. And we've established that historical temperature fluctuations track quite well with the combination of solar radiance and atmospheric CO2 - neither alone tracks well with temperature, nor has any other mechanism been proposed that tracks nearly so well.

Man-made atmospheric CO2 buildup?
We can calculate pretty accurately the amount of CO2 produced by global fossil fuel consumption, and we can measure CO2 levels in the atmosphere. For as long as we've been measuring it it has been increasing in line with human production. Even with a complicated environmental carbon cycle that's not fully understood it's pretty hard to argue that the expansion of a pool at N gallons per minute has nothing to do with the N+k gallons per minute you're pumping into it.

That humanity could be pumping enough energy into the system to be having an effect?
You'd be right, we can't. Not directly anyway. But we can calculate quite easily how much additional solar heat will be captured by a given quantity of atmospheric CO2, and it's on the order of 1,000,000x greater than the heat produced by burning enough fossil fuels to create that CO2. Imagine a world filled with a million times more people, each burning just as much fuel as today - that's how much total heat we're indirectly responsible for adding to the world. Just to put that in perspective - the Earth has ~150 million km^2 of land area, or currently about 21,000 square meters (5 acres) per person. With a million times as many people that would drop to 0.02 m^2 per person, or about 4 people per square foot. At that point it becomes pretty hard to argue that we aren't going to have an impact.

The absence of natural feedback systems that will correct for things?
These could admittedly exist, and in fact a number have been found, but none discovered so far have the potential to operate nearly as fast as necessary to compensate for the rate at which we're pumping CO2 into the atmosphere. It's possible that at some point some other unsuspected effect will kick in, but we also know that the Earth has spent much of it's long life being far warmer than during the ice age we're currently in an interglacial period within, so it's clearly possible to overcome whatever balancing systems may exist.

Re:Famous last words (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46677555)

Whilst I am not the AC which refused to believe in man made climate change, I do share one problem which seems to be obvious to climate change, the illegal tree felling industry needs to stop. full stop.

Trees do more for this planet then most people realize.

Re:Famous last words (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46677223)

> Kinda like global "warming" now downgraded to global climate "change"

The phrase "climate change" was purposely coined by Frank Luntz, [wikipedia.org] the republican party's greatest spinmeister ever. He's the one who rebranded "estate tax" to "death tax" and "healthcare reform" to "government takeover." Pretty much every catchy phrase the republicans have used over the last 20 years is the product of Luntz's focus groups.

Ironically, in his quest to come up with a phrase that is less scary, Luntz came up with a phrase that is more accurate. He just didn't expect things like the polar vortex shift and the California drought to actually happen. That's what happens when you put ideology ahead of empiricism.

Re:Famous last words (2, Insightful)

dalias (1978986) | about 6 months ago | (#46677269)

"Climate change" is not a "downgrade" to global warming. It's simply better wording to avoid denial from idiots who don't understand math (i.e. means) and say "wow it's really cold this winter, global warming is bs!" Nothing has changed; we still know the mean temperature is increasing and that the increase is caused by human activity. But the new wording is less susceptible to idiotic misinterpretation.

Re:Famous last words (0)

ExecutorElassus (1202245) | about 6 months ago | (#46677833)

Actually, you are slightly incorrect about motives, though the end result may be more scientifically accurate. "Climate change" and related terms were created by Frank Luntz [wikipedia.org] specifically in order to make the phenomenon less scary-sounding, and thus to blunt action -- almost entirely by Democrats -- to respond to the problem.
In so doing, he created decades of thumb-twiddling inaction by the US government, leading to the problem becoming much more severe and intractable than it might otherwise have been.
But, yes, technically "climate change" more accurately describes what's happening, though "climate disruption" or something similar would probably be a better choice.

Nearly Unbreakable (3, Insightful)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 6 months ago | (#46676639)

The keyword here is nearly, which means it can be broken.

Re:Nearly Unbreakable (2)

geekmux (1040042) | about 6 months ago | (#46676679)

The keyword here is nearly, which means it can be broken.

Yes, which means either they're being realistic in the sense that basically all forms of cryptography fall into this category, or they were wisely advised by their liability mitigation team.

One thing manufacturers have learned when trying to advertise anything as idiotproof or bulletproof.

There's always going to be some idiot out there making a bigger bullet.

Or a pipe wrench.

Re:Nearly Unbreakable (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 6 months ago | (#46676729)

I can easily create an encryption system that is unbreakable. You just won't be able to get your data back.

Re:Nearly Unbreakable (3, Insightful)

geekmux (1040042) | about 6 months ago | (#46676751)

I can easily create an encryption system that is unbreakable. You just won't be able to get your data back.

Then your statement is pointless, for you haven't made an encryption system at all. You've made a destruction system.

Re:Nearly Unbreakable (3, Funny)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 6 months ago | (#46676779)

I'll remove "Data In, Garbage Out" from my features list.

Re:Nearly Unbreakable (3, Insightful)

Wootery (1087023) | about 6 months ago | (#46676769)

Then it wouldn't be encryption. It would be hashing.

Re:Nearly Unbreakable (1)

SuperTechnoNerd (964528) | about 6 months ago | (#46676909)

A fundamental law of physics is that information can NEVER be destroyed (even in a black hole). So then, it's theoretically it's possible to retrieve the data no matter what you do.

Re:Nearly Unbreakable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46677087)

How do you retrieve the data if I send it at the speed of light towards an empty spot in the Hubble Deep Field?

Re:Nearly Unbreakable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46677243)

> How do you retrieve the data if I send it at the speed of light towards an empty spot in the Hubble Deep Field?

Stand in front of it?

Re:Nearly Unbreakable (1)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | about 6 months ago | (#46677245)

> A fundamental law of physics is that information can NEVER be destroyed

This is.... not even wrong. There are interesting trade-offs between useful thermodynamic work and possible information storage, but information in that sense is "lost" with almost every physical and chemical interaction.

Re:Nearly Unbreakable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46677295)

Information can be destroyed in many ways, except for the case of one fundamental particle of matter being considered as meaningful for just being (if you consider a second state, of being or not in a certain location, to create a bit, then the information can be destroyed...). Of course, this isn't very useful, as you can't even differenciate this particle from the others in any way. It can be proved simply though: it's just there. As you can't tell where/which it is, you can consider it being equivalent to every other particles of matter in being. Well, you can just associate everything you want to it from the start too. It can be used as a psychological anchor, as in: "ZOMK I DEFINE EVERY PARTICLES IN BEING TO BE LOVE, SO LOVE IS EVERYWHERE, ALL AROUND ME THAT'S SO COOL!!11!".

*Matter*, that is fundamental particles of matter, cannot *cease to be*.

Of course, the beginning of this state of being is highly paradoxical, but hey, whatever.

(It goes without saying that the idea of eventual entities which could be in some limited ways associated to the word 'gods' does not change anything to this... it is precisely just pushing reality a bit farther back, as it is more or less intended to... it can help detachment, and even acceptation, but it is of course mostly used for trying to run away a bit more, negating the truth about mostly everything, like so many other attempts...).

Re:Nearly Unbreakable (1)

Wootery (1087023) | about 6 months ago | (#46676743)

There's always going to be some idiot out there making a bigger bullet.

Pretty sure cracking cryptographic algorithms isn't an idiot's game.

Re:Nearly Unbreakable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46676807)

Wasting time on a stupid arms race absolutely makes a person an idiot. Wisdom has to start with getting the big picture right, no matter how good you are with detail.

Re:Nearly Unbreakable (1)

gigaherz (2653757) | about 6 months ago | (#46676809)

Somehow I feel like some ignorant idiot somewhere is going do use his lack of knowledge against them and be like "but, couldn't you just do it this other way instead?" and their scheme, although resistant to current methods, will be quite a lot weaker to the idiot's method.

Re:Nearly Unbreakable (2)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 6 months ago | (#46676723)

Nearly unbreakable using traditional methods

This won't take long

Re:Nearly Unbreakable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46677147)

Nearly unbreakable is a marketing expression for "never done before so nobody has bothered to break it yet".

Area of expertise (3, Interesting)

Sarten-X (1102295) | about 6 months ago | (#46676643)

Not that I've actually done my own research, but what qualifications do these folks have to state the security of an encryption mechanism? Everybody who finds a new way to twist a message thinks it's secure.

Re:Area of expertise (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46676939)

None, really. It's some kind of physicists disease. They look at some field, go "like this is easy why hasn't anybody done this" and then publish a bad paper. It frequently happens with biology.

They then publish their findings in, naturally, a physics journal. To be reviewed by other physicists, who are about as qualified as themselves to review something from a field that isn't theirs.

Broken down at the transport layer (1)

Kremmy (793693) | about 6 months ago | (#46676645)

I guarantee it.

Layers are so 70s thinking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46677627)

Honestly what networking stacks actually implement the OSI 7 Layer model?

OSI 7 Layer model ignores the CROSS CUTTING ASPECTS OF CONCERNs of the ABILITIES such as SECURABILITY, PERFORMABILITY et al.

They do not even address this in their layerd between nearest neighbours, where one layer services the layer ABOVE and is services by the layer BELOW (assuming not periphery layers on the top most and bottom most layers).

OSI 7 Layer model is still taught at schools but in reality, it is a model with inherent concerns that are not addressed.

And next up, they claim to have cured cancer. (3, Insightful)

pla (258480) | about 6 months ago | (#46676647)

TFA contains no actual information, just an assertion that the interaction between poorly-described models of "biological" systems might kinda possibly maybe make them money because the world needs car door key fobs, or something like that.

Deep.

Re:And next up, they claim to have cured cancer. (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about 6 months ago | (#46676755)

correction, the claim was "we treatment that nearly cures cancer".

have your checkbook ready, get it at the ground floor!

Re:And next up, they claim to have cured cancer. (1)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 6 months ago | (#46676889)

TFA contains no actual information, just an assertion that the interaction between poorly-described models of "biological" systems might kinda possibly maybe make them money because the world needs car door key fobs, or something like that.

Deep.

I don't know that I'd use the human body as a basis for an encryption system.

Human bodies are constantly having their (DNA) codes cracked.

By viruses, no less.

Re:And next up, they claim to have cured cancer. (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 6 months ago | (#46677401)

>By viruses, no less.

Hey now, don't get uppity. Some of those viruses have a genome larger than ours.

HEY SLASHDOT, THE FIRST LINK IS BROKEN (4, Informative)

rjmarvin (3001897) | about 6 months ago | (#46676655)

It should link here:http://www.sdtimes.com/content/article.aspx?ArticleID=69025&page=1 Yeah, if you could fix it, that would be greaaaat.

MOD PARENT UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46676669)

broken link fail

Re:HEY SLASHDOT, THE FIRST LINK IS BROKEN (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46676697)

Yeah, if you could fix it, that would be greaaaat.

Anyone who doesn't get the reference should lost Slashdot karma points.

Re:HEY SLASHDOT, THE FIRST LINK IS BROKEN (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46676961)

Sorry boss, but I've got those TPS reports of yours to finish first...

Re:HEY SLASHDOT, THE FIRST LINK IS BROKEN (5, Funny)

ratnerstar (609443) | about 6 months ago | (#46677133)

But the link is nearly unbreakable!

First! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46676703)

Woot woot, my "nearly unbreakable" scheme of first posts! FUCK OFF YOU WANKER SON OF A BITCH!

And btw I went to Lancaster Uni. Awesome place! Pendle is the best ;)

Red flags (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46676733)

Red flag #1 publication to inappropriate forum. If your "breakthrough" in physics only got published in the Journal of English as a Foreign Language, it's most likely bunk. Likewise then, if you've got some crypto results and the best place you could find to publish them was a physics journal, that's a bad sign. There are journals about crypto. If this wasn't sent to them it means nobody serious has looked at this. If it was sent and they declined it means serious people laughed their heads off.

Red flag #2 use of phrase "nearly unbreakable" which doesn't mean anything. Anybody who knew what the hell they were talking about would steer clear of that phrase, but oh my, if you're clueless it sounds impressive. So, probably clueless then.

Eh, no. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46676753)

The test of a good encryption system is the test of time. If you have just created something, you don't also get to claim that there's nothing wrong with it - at best you get to say that it's something interesting to study.

What is more
>Lancaster university
Eh, plate glass.

Lancaster (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46677017)

I went to Lancaster, where the fuck did you go, clown college? Shut you pie hole you fucking cunt

Re:Lancaster (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46677109)

Balliol, Oxford. Founded ~1263. Has also stood the test of time.

But I'll never master your dulcet northern charm.

Thanks for playing.

Re:Lancaster (1)

RDW (41497) | about 6 months ago | (#46677629)

You're only as good as your last RAE :-)

http://physicsworld.com/cws/ar... [physicsworld.com]

"An unofficial Physics World ranking that lists departments according to their average research score shows Lancaster on top and Cambridge close behind. Both departments also received the maximum 5* rating in the last RAE in 2001, but the other 5* departments - Oxford, Southampton and Imperial College London - fell outside the top 10 this time round. "

LOLZ (beta) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46676757)

Your mom has enough buttfurs to make an exquisite Persian rug.

bullshit (1)

Lehk228 (705449) | about 6 months ago | (#46676777)

I'm calling bullshit.

Re:bullshit (2)

geekmux (1040042) | about 6 months ago | (#46676983)

I'm calling bullshit.

I sense an underlying ambiguity in your message here, even with a common scent profile wafting between subject and comment...

Are you suggesting someone has perhaps fabricated something that one would compare to bovine fecal matter for the sake of pure attention whoring?

Why my good friend, I've never heard of such a thing. On the internet you say...

You mean it goes like this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46676787)

You try to decrypt the message but the program says it sees you as a friend?

Meh (4, Insightful)

swillden (191260) | about 6 months ago | (#46676797)

I don't know whether or not this idea actually works, or what level of security it may or may not provide, but it's addressing an already thoroughly-solved problem. It appears to provide a symmetric key cipher, which means -- regardless of how radical the approach may or may not be -- it's in direct competition with algorithms like AES and the multitude of other well-respected and heavily-researched block and stream ciphers. The abstract and summary mention "an unlimited number of possibilities for a shared encryption key", but existing algorithms already provide enormous key spaces.

Of course, some cryptanalytic breakthrough could provide a way to break all existing ciphers, but who's to say the same breakthrough wouldn't impact systems based on this idea. And, actually, we already have another approach which uses special hardware at each end, Quantum Cryptography, which can absolutely guarantee security, unless our understanding of the Uncertainty Principle is wrong. Or unless there are bugs in the physical implementation, which there have been, and I see no reason that this "Dynamic Systems Coupling" approach wouldn't be subject to the same kinds of problems.

So... meh.

Re:Meh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46676835)

Yes, and simplistic one-liners are the fool's tool.

Re:Meh (1)

swillden (191260) | about 6 months ago | (#46677179)

Yes, and simplistic one-liners are the fool's tool.

Many snark. Few information.

Re:Meh (1)

geekmux (1040042) | about 6 months ago | (#46677077)

And, actually, we already have another approach which uses special hardware at each end, Quantum Cryptography, which can absolutely guarantee security, unless our understanding of the Uncertainty Principle is wrong. Or unless there are bugs in the physical implementation, which there have been...

Uh, those "bugs" you so conveniently dismiss here would be called the NSA.

Good luck chucking that little issue into the "Meh" bin.

Re:Meh (1)

swillden (191260) | about 6 months ago | (#46677173)

And, actually, we already have another approach which uses special hardware at each end, Quantum Cryptography, which can absolutely guarantee security, unless our understanding of the Uncertainty Principle is wrong. Or unless there are bugs in the physical implementation, which there have been...

Uh, those "bugs" you so conveniently dismiss here would be called the NSA.

Huh? None of the QC bugs so far discovered and reported appear to have any relationship with the NSA. I see a common temptation to attribute near-mystical powers to the NSA, and the resulting assumption that any security defect was caused by the agency. There's no doubt the NSA has done much to compromise available cryptographic security options, but they aren't everywhere, and -- more to the point -- good security is hard enough that plenty of mistakes are made without any NSA influence.

Re:Meh (1)

geekmux (1040042) | about 6 months ago | (#46677231)

And, actually, we already have another approach which uses special hardware at each end, Quantum Cryptography, which can absolutely guarantee security, unless our understanding of the Uncertainty Principle is wrong. Or unless there are bugs in the physical implementation, which there have been...

Uh, those "bugs" you so conveniently dismiss here would be called the NSA.

Huh? None of the QC bugs so far discovered and reported appear to have any relationship with the NSA. I see a common temptation to attribute near-mystical powers to the NSA, and the resulting assumption that any security defect was caused by the agency. There's no doubt the NSA has done much to compromise available cryptographic security options, but they aren't everywhere, and -- more to the point -- good security is hard enough that plenty of mistakes are made without any NSA influence.

I was more referring to their known powers of legal manipulation.

The unbreakable quickly becomes the illegal, everywhere, especially in the face of what is now known as a global intelligence collective.

Collusion would putting that mildly.

Re:Meh (1)

Lennie (16154) | about 6 months ago | (#46677903)

I wonder if the crypto key is tied to your body.

If so, it's just as stupid as biometrics.

After that information is stolen, you can't easily change it anymore. Because he's it's your body.

Anyone... (4, Insightful)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about 6 months ago | (#46676815)

Anyone can invent an encryption scheme so clever that he or she can't think of a way to break it.

Re:Anyone... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46676977)

Just like anyone can write software they can't test themselves.

Re:Anyone... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46677003)

They say that the only way to break it is by feeding electrical pulses into someone's heart and lungs rhythm system to do the decoding, but that would be too painful for volunteers and illegal under Geneva convention for prisoners. Your data is safe.

Re:Anyone... (1)

Lennie (16154) | about 6 months ago | (#46677917)

That makes me feel really safe.

LoL, not.

Re:Anyone... (1)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about 6 months ago | (#46677071)

I'll do you one better. I'll make an encryption scheme that no one can decrypt, even myself!

anyone can devise encryption they can't break (4, Insightful)

raymorris (2726007) | about 6 months ago | (#46676817)

The author's claim that it's very hard to break only means that THEY don't know how to break it. That's meaningless, because anyone and everyone can come up with a puzzle they don't know how to solve. That doesn't mean it's hard, just that they don't know how it's done.

A trivial example would be a kindergartener who might observe that if you encode a message by writing it with letters, they don't kow how to read that message. That's only because the kid doesn't know how to read. It in no way suggests that reading is impossible. For many Slashdot readers, compiling a message into a Windows resource file makes unreadable _to_them. Windows resource files are of course quite easy to read, if you know how. These researchers don't know how to read their own encoding. So what? That doesn't mean _I_ don't know how to read their stuff.

Their scheme does have one attribute that's good - it can generate long keys. So can a random number generator. They MAY have a good idea, but we won't know until alot of other people try to break their encryption and fail.

Re:anyone can devise encryption they can't break (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46677013)

Why are you so sure it's not the not step in encryption? Everyone knows the current encryption schemes can be broken if you can (even theoretically) throw enough resources at it.

"not the not step"? (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about 6 months ago | (#46677255)

"Why are you so sure it's not the not step"

Can you rephrase that, I'm not understanding what you mean. As far as what I'm sure of, I said, "they May have a good idea, we won't know until ..."

I didn't say they don't have an awesome idea (or that they do). I'm saying there is no reason to think it's good or bad, based on the researchers not knowing how to decrypt it. Anyone can string together a series of mathematical operations that they don't know how to undo.

Re:anyone can devise encryption they can't break (2)

swillden (191260) | about 6 months ago | (#46677411)

Everyone knows the current encryption schemes can be broken if you can (even theoretically) throw enough resources at it.

Everyone who "knows" this is dead wrong. Resource-based, brute-force attacks on, say, AES-256, are completely pointless.

According to Landauer's Principle [wikipedia.org] the lowest possible amount of energy required to perform a single elementary computation is 2.85*10^-21 J. This means that even with a perfectly-efficient computer, to perform 2^256 elementary computations (assuming that an AES-256 trial decryption is a single elementary operation, which it isn't, but I'll ignore that) you would need 3.3*10^56 J. That's a lot.

How much? Well, suppose we built a Dyson sphere and captured the entire energy output of the sun to power our perfectly-efficient computer. The annual output of the sun is 1.2*10^34 J, which means we'd need 2.75*10^22 years of solar energy to complete the search for one key. One problem with that: The sun won't last that long.

Okay, so instead of just using a Dyson sphere to capture naturally-produced solar energy, suppose we found a way to convert the entire mass of the sun to energy. The theoretical mass energy of the sun is 1.8*10^47 J [nist.gov] . That means you'd actually need the mass of just under two billion suns -- as well as an ideal computer and the ability to gather and convert all of those suns to energy in order to perform 2^256 operations.

As Bruce Schneier put it in the intro to Applied Cryptography, brute force of a 256-bit keyspace is impossible until computers are made of something other than matter and and occupy something other than space.

Of course, the 128-bit keyspace is miniscule compared to the 256-bit key space... but it's still unimaginably huge. Well beyond anyone's capabilities for at least several decades, perhaps longer. Suppose you had a trillion computers, each of which could test a trillion keys per second, allowing you to test 10^24 keys per second. It would still take you 10 million years to search a 128-bit key space.

No, if "everyone knows" current encryption schemes can be broken by application of enough resources, then everyone is wrong. At least, if the "resources" you're applying are computational brute force. "Rubber hose" cryptanalysis, on the other hand, is much cheaper and more effective. But this scheme, whatever other strengths or weaknesses it may have, is no more resistant to rubber hose cryptanalysis than any other.

Re:anyone can devise encryption they can't break (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46677197)

But what could be interesting is if people discover something new about the human rhythms by examining this scheme :D

Re:anyone can devise encryption they can't break (2)

swillden (191260) | about 6 months ago | (#46677217)

They MAY have a good idea, but we won't know until alot of other people try to break their encryption and fail.

Which is not going to happen because the authors haven't given any reason why anyone should care. We have lots of widely-deployed ciphers which are fast and secure. No one attacks modern cryptographic security systems by breaking the ciphers, they do it by exploiting peripheral flaws in implementation, key management, etc.

If you want to offer a new symmetric cipher, it needs to offer something more interesting than security. I think the most powerful characteristic that could be provided is simplicity, particularly if it not only makes the design transparent, but also facilitates verification of hardware and software implementations. Designed-in resistance against side channel attacks might be mildly interesting. Speed might be, but current ciphers are already very fast.

This is news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46676823)

It's been covered in multiple Sci-Fi stories over the last 40 years that I recal reading in Analog, F&SF, Galaxy and what not.

Re:This is news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46677079)

There's a difference between writing down your daydreams and actually doing it.

I have complete confidence (1)

Required Snark (1702878) | about 6 months ago | (#46676843)

that the NSA can subvert any cryptography system.

Even if this is true, the NSA will figure out a way to make it insecure. Under the pretense of security they insure that the ability to do evil things is built in to all communication technology.

Re:I have complete confidence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46676985)

And the alternative is worse.

What happens when powerful or violent people have the means to successfully wage a successful extermination plot?

Normal people won't kill, but there could be some trigger that makes even the peaceful people rise up and start killing. I don't know who it would be (rich, islamists, jews, gays, inner city blacks, US troops, US government,...), but I would rather not find out. And I wouldn't want them to be able to use technology to organize and plot that was created because some paranoid person thinks the NSA cares about them or monitored some silly metadata.

Re:I have complete confidence (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46677073)

And the alternative is worse.

What happens when powerful or violent people have the means to successfully wage a successful extermination plot?

Normal people won't kill, but there could be some trigger that makes even the peaceful people rise up and start killing. I don't know who it would be (rich, islamists, jews, gays, inner city blacks, US troops, US government,...), but I would rather not find out. And I wouldn't want them to be able to use technology to organize and plot that was created because some paranoid person thinks the NSA cares about them or monitored some silly metadata.

Are you paid overtime for Sunday work?

Star Trek Voyager (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46676907)

They probably got this idea from an episode of Voyager.

Key sharing? (3, Insightful)

Hentes (2461350) | about 6 months ago | (#46676911)

There's nothing in the protocol description about key sharing. If you already have a way to share keys, why not just use a one time pad that's proven to be unbreakable?

Re:Key sharing? (1)

wagnerrp (1305589) | about 6 months ago | (#46677723)

When your key is as large as the data you want to send, why not just send your data through your key sharing mechanism?

"nearly unbreakable" = "unsinkable" Titanic (1)

burni2 (1643061) | about 6 months ago | (#46677043)

Many of you may know FeFe "Felix von Leitner" Extreme-Coder/CCC-Member with his infamous but german blog "https://blog.fefe.de"

His statement/no citation but sense of words:

"REAL crpytologists will take

1.) a long time,
2.) many attack tests and
3.) mathematical proofs

before they dare to call a crypto safe ENOUGH"

And this statement remained valid till now, just think about the eliptic curve that was shaped to comfort the NSA.

So if you accept fefes prediction you can really deduce that the contrary to the researchers claims will be the case, because of many reasons.

1.) narrow sight - if you're doing research your biggest enemy is you, because you are in danger of being so full of yourself or your idea that you won't see the invariants.

Just remeber how often you have written code you thought must work 100%, and got supprised because you didn't catch an "invariant" that was actually in plane sight.

2.) hostile thinking - and well this is much worse we can suspect one thing especially after the "Rescola" Gambit

The agencies gotten too smart to only taint the sources, because that's to obvious you need a social drive like a group leader of a standardization group, or the official statement of people with an unscathed background (social engineering people into a certain behaviour).

Be paranoid, don't trust people analyse their arguments!

Patent (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46677053)

Someone please tell me the patent is more about the machinery used and not so much the algorithm.

Grandpa's Unicorn Herd (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46677065)

Oh, boy! If only they had this waaaay back in the 1940's [wikipedia.org] . World War II could have been ended even sooner. And without the Atom Bomb (yes, all it takes is *one* atom, just one and ...).

Nice to know that cooking up a steganographic codeswarm is anything like a new idea. At least in science mags and patent law.

Biologically, or at least medically, that sounds a lot like Idiopathic Polydiarroeic Bostercariosis. Of the slightly purulent variety. It's not like ... well, never mind.

Maybe their real message is in their purported medium? Hidden in the mass of sheets on the line, wildly flapping in the wind? Right beside the herd of stampeding unicorns. Ridden by unseen gorillas. That are really actors in gorilla-suits.

Practically unbreakable [gifbin.com] .

geez, guys, give it a rest (4, Insightful)

stenvar (2789879) | about 6 months ago | (#46677075)

The paper contains none of the cryptographic analysis necessary to show that this is a secure cryptographic system. It's just another one of these "let's take a chaotic dynamical system and use it for cryptography" papers.

The paper doesn't tell you much about cryptography, but it does illustrate the failures of peer review.

It looks bad to me. (3, Insightful)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 6 months ago | (#46677103)

From the abstract it seems that they are claiming:

1) Boy, those chaotic systems look complex.
2) Gee they can synchronize
3) If we superimpose other chaotic systems on top, then it looks even more complexer.

So something like Walsh codes implemented badly. Walsh codes have nothing to do with cryptography btw.

What they haven''t shown is a lower bound for brute for attack complexity, or why it is resistant to any of the normal attack methods. I don't see why an imposter could not sync to the source the same way the intended recipient does. From the paper, I see several linear systems of equations describing the chaotic oscillators.

This will fall fast when a real cryptographer has go at it.

patented already ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46677141)

"..... and filed as a patent entitled 'Encoding Data Using Dynamic System Coupling,' ..."
patenting mathematics that is.

Not applicable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46677159)

Encryption is not a computer science problem, it's a social problem with humans. Secrecy is violence.

Hm. (4, Informative)

Animats (122034) | about 6 months ago | (#46677537)

OK, first bypass the click troll and get to the actual paper. [aps.org]

The general idea seems to be to transmit a large amount of noisy data per plaintext bit. Historically, crypto schemes which make the input much bigger are disfavored, but communications bandwidth is cheaper now and that might be OK.

The author of the paper seems to have fallen into the old trap of thinking that that analog signals have infinite amounts of data in them. He writes things like ''The encrypting key space is unbounded." and "The choice of the form of coupling functions comes from a set of functions that is not bounded." ("High-end" audio people also fall for this.) In reality, at some point you hit a noise threshold, and, anyway, down at the bottom, electrons and photons are discrite. Also, to be usable, whatever is used for the key has to be of finite size, and preferably not too big.

"No new cypher is worth looking at unless it comes from someone who has already broken a very hard one. - Friedman.

Secure, yes, but Reliable? (2)

Myu (823582) | about 6 months ago | (#46677639)

Having a look at the paper, I can absolutely see that the encryption technique seems on the face of it to exceed computable solution. What I would need to be convinced about is the integrity of the communication; is what you get at the end of it guaranteed to be perfectly reflective of what you put into it?

(I can also see a sketch proof to the effect that the overall system can be made reliable with a probability approaching 1 - for arbitrarily small , but that's macroscopic behaviour. Microscopic, the system looks like it's capable of handling very regular systems very well, but given the reliance on Bayesian inference will drop reliability for anything with some very likely inputs and some less likely outputs.)

Re:Secure, yes, but Reliable? (1)

Myu (823582) | about 6 months ago | (#46677643)

Sorry, Slashdot appears not to like the ascii character for epsilon there. That should "read (1 - e) for arbitrarily small e".

Re:Secure, yes, but Reliable? (1)

Myu (823582) | about 6 months ago | (#46677659)

And also "less likely inputs". God, way to undermine my own point.

I read slashdot... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46677671)

...and I can definitely say this is unbreakable. I might even read the article.

Wrench (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46678015)

Best decryption tool ever.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>