Credit cards and passports are filled with microchips brimming with your personal information—and give off radio waves to any nearby sleazebag that wants to steal your identity. A new generation of those chips stands to stop hackers in their tracks.
Over the last year, law enforcement officials around the world have been pressing hard on the notion that without a magical “backdoor” to access the content of any and all encrypted communications by ordinary people, they’ll be totally incapable of fulfilling their duties to investigate crime and protect the public.…
There’s a sinister cryptographic puzzle sweeping the Internet, with forums abuzz with people trying to decode the clues held within a creepy video. Can you help work out what it all means?
It’s going to unshackle us from the oppressive dungeon of fiat currency! But also criminals and rogue cops use it to do nefarious drug stuff! Digital currency is often defined by its volatile hype cycle. And yet its most promising feature is incredibly mundane-sounding: a bookkeeping system called “the blockchain.”
You indirectly use random numbers online every day—to establish secure connections, to encrypt data, perhaps even to satisfy your gambling problem. But their ubiquity belies the fact that they're actually incredibly difficult to find. This is the story of where they come from.
The release of the film, The Imitation Game, about the life and work of Alan Turing, inspired the Guardian to publish this description of how the German encryption device worked—and why, like all good cryptography, it was a simple concept that was a nightmare to break.
Many cryptographers throughout history have claimed that a particular code is the most-unbreakable ever written. But does a rarely-used code, invented in 1917 and briefly employed during World War II, have a potential claim to the throne?
"Human" is a Stargate: Universe episode that revolves around mathematician Dr. Rush trying to crack a code. "I loved Rush's crazy scribbles of nonsense and the light code imagery," Meredith wrote in io9's original recap. Only it wasn't nonsense – it was real cryptography with consistent, breakable codes.
Remember the Nokia N9? Probably not—but geek points if you do—because it was a smartphone that was DOA and used by pretty much no one. But even a three-year-old smartphone is pretty sophisticated piece of machinery. Using just an N9 and light, physicists have found a way to generate the random numbers algorithms used…
Alan Turing's life story is unequivocally a tragedy. The Imitation Game, a new biopic that focuses on his accomplishments as a codebreaker during World War II, manages to recognize this while celebrating his formidable legacy.
The wireless telegraph station in Sayville, New York was one of the most powerful in the world. Constructed by the German company Telefunken in 1912, it served as a transatlantic relay point for diplomatic messages and business communications. It was a beacon among amateur wireless enthusiasts around the United…
For those of you who have only seen the Leonardo DiCaprio movie, the Man in the Iron Mask was an actual historical figure. He was a mysterious prisoner in the time of Louis XIV. Two centuries later, a cryptoanalyst finally discovered his probable identity.
The Babington Plot was a famous conspiracy, in 1586, to assassinate Queen Elizabeth. It led to the execution of Mary Queen of Scots, whose weak cipher implicated her. Check out that cipher today, cryptography fans!
In the 1970s, civilian researchers at places like IBM, Stanford and MIT were developing encryption to ensure that digital data sent between businesses, academics and private citizens couldn't be intercepted and understood by a third party. This concerned folks in the U.S. intelligence community who didn't want to get…
No, not really. But for two years, researchers at Los Alamos National Labs have been working on something they call network-centric quantum communications — and this could usher in the next generation of hyper-secure, scalable, and affordable quantum cryptographic techniques. We spoke to the lead researcher to find…
It seems like these days I can't eat breakfast without reading about some new encryption app that will (supposedly) revolutionize our communications — while making tyrannical regimes fall like cheap confetti.
Most people are happy to give their neighbours a spare house key in case of emergencies, but you probably wouldn't want to give them your digital passwords. Now security researchers have shown that you may not have a choice, at least when it comes to cloud computing.
The world's oldest undeciphered writing is on the verge of what researchers are calling "a breakthrough," and they're looking to the public to help make it happen.
Among the many things that computer science pioneer Alan Turing is remembered for was his tremendous contribution to the British war effort in which he is credited with cracking Nazi Germany's Enigma code — a breakthrough that historians widely agree helped to shorten the war in Europe. But now, the Polish government…