Researchers of the Eindhoven University of Technology have managed to crack the McEliece cryptosystem. This system is a candidate for securing Internet traffic in the ‘Post-Quantum Computing’ era, when the superfast computers of the future will be in use. The scientists presented the crack as well as a new encryption key.
Last weekend’s successful attack was done using a large number of computers linked together throughout the world, explained Eindhoven University of Technology professor Tanja Lange. Together with her student Christiane Peters they presented a new encryption key with which the McEliece code will be immune to quantum computers.
Banks currently use the RSA code from 1977 to secure electronic transactions. A quantum computer would have little problems cracking this code, something that takes an ordinary computer three weeks. This is why researchers are looking for something better now before the introduction of quantum computers, which according to Lange is another 10 years away.