Thursday, January 7, 2010

Researchers Achieve Breakthrough for Public Key Cryptography

Researchers at NTT, in collaboration with Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Bonn University, Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique (INRIA), and Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI), set a new world record for a 768-bit (232-digit decimal) composite number that far exceeds the previous record (663-bits 200-digit decimal). This was achieved through integer factorization using a technique that employed a "general number field sieve" to overcome the integer factorization problem.

Examination of the number of bits that can be factored is important to estimate more precisely the security and strength of the RSA scheme. The RSA scheme, which is widely used as a public key encryption scheme, is based on the difficulty of the integer factorization problem.

The researchers said their work paves the way for stronger and more efficient encryption technology.