Bad news today for anybody who encrypts their files. A team of researchers in Japan has been able to crack 923-bit encryption – a feat previously thought to be impossible.
The Japanese team, based out of Fujitsu Laboratories and Kyushu University, took just over 148 days to crack the 278 digit, 932-bit code. Sure, that may seem like a long-time, but it’s a new world record. The past record holder was a team from NICT Hakodate Future University, which cracked a 204 digit code in a shorter period of time.
However, the Guinness World Record was for the complexity of encryption cracked, as opposed to the length of time it took to accomplish the feat.
The difference between 204 digit encryption and 278 digit encryption may not seem like a lot, but it’s significant. In fact, the 278 digit encryption is literally hundreds of times harder to crack than its 204 digit counterpart.
What does it all mean?
If you don’t follow the latest encryption news, then you might not know what all of these terms mean. Basically, people encrypt files in order to protect them against wayward eyes. It’s basically a complex password.
However, unlike your Facebook password, it’s virtually impossible to guess your way through 923-bit encryption. When there are 278 digits in the password, there are an overwhelming number of combinations available. Even the world’s fastest computers would take hundreds of years to hack into such a system.
At least, that’s what people used to think. According to the team of researchers, they used “various new technologies…computer algebra…a two dimensional search algorithm…efficient programming techniques…[and] parallel programming technology that maximizes computer power” in order to crack the code.
Now, it looks like the encryption industry will have to take another leap forward in order to safeguard its consumers’ data against hackers.
The good news
There is some good news here: the computers used to crack the 923-bit code are incredibly complex. 21 separate computers were dedicated to cracking the code, and it took a combined 252 cores. At any rate, the computer technology used to crack the code – along with the expertise needed to use it – would be very difficult for a team of hackers to acquire.
That’s not to say that it’s impossible for hackers to access your data, but just because of team of Japanese researchers have cracked the code doesn’t mean that every Joe Hacker on the internet is going to be able to see your data.
Don’t forget to safeguard your data by scanning your computer with PC Cleaner Pro today! You never know when a virus or hacker is going to strike.