Skip to Content
Uncategorized

Cryptographers Find New Weaknesses in Common Security Algorithms

More fodder for the computer security paranoid: Computer scientists have reported previously unknown flaws in three key mathematical functions embedded in common security applications at this week’s Crypto 2004 conference in Santa Barbara, CA.Both Chinese and French researchers reported weaknesses…
August 18, 2004

More fodder for the computer security paranoid: Computer scientists have reported previously unknown flaws in three key mathematical functions embedded in common security applications at this week’s Crypto 2004 conference in Santa Barbara, CA.

Both Chinese and French researchers reported weaknesses in a popular algorithm called MD5, often used with digital signatures. Then Eli Biham of the Technion Institute in Israel reported some early work toward identifying vulnerabilities in the SHA-1 “Secure Hash Algorithm,” which was believed to be secure. The news was reported here on CNET News.

While the results are all preliminary, intruders could eventually use them to insert “back doors” into computer code or to forge electronic signatures.

(Simson Garfinkel recently wrote a nice explanation of hash functions in a column titled “Fingerprint Your Files.”)

The SHA-1 algorithm is currently considered the gold standard hash algorithms and is embedded in popular security programs like PGP (used to encrypt e-mail) and SSL (used to secure Web transactions). The National Institute of Standards and Technology has certified it, and it’s the only signing algorithm approved for use in the U.S. government’s Digital Signature Standard.

Seems like it’s time for mathematicians and computer scientists to start working on the next-next generation of security algorithms.

Deep Dive

Uncategorized

Our best illustrations of 2022

Our artists’ thought-provoking, playful creations bring our stories to life, often saying more with an image than words ever could.

How CRISPR is making farmed animals bigger, stronger, and healthier

These gene-edited fish, pigs, and other animals could soon be on the menu.

The Download: the Saudi sci-fi megacity, and sleeping babies’ brains

This is today’s edition of The Download, our weekday newsletter that provides a daily dose of what’s going on in the world of technology. These exclusive satellite images show Saudi Arabia’s sci-fi megacity is well underway In early 2021, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia announced The Line: a “civilizational revolution” that would house up…

10 Breakthrough Technologies 2023

Every year, we pick the 10 technologies that matter the most right now. We look for advances that will have a big impact on our lives and break down why they matter.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.