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Cybersecurity enhanced: New method developed, hacking made harder

Researchers, Including One Of Indian-origin, Have Developed A New Method For Producing Truly Random Numbers, A Breakthrough Invention That Could Contribute A Lot In Improving Cybersecurity.

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Hina Khan | Updated on: 19 May 2016, 06:53:50 PM
Cybersecurity enhanced: New method developed, hacking made harder. (Representational Image)

New Delhi :

Researchers, including one of Indian-origin, have developed a new method for producing truly random numbers, a breakthrough invention that could contribute a lot in improving cybersecurity. Scientists at the University of Texas at Austin have developed a method that can be used to make electronic voting more secure, conduct statistically significant polls and more accurately simulate complex systems such as Earth's climate.

The method involves creating truly random numbers which could facilitate significantly higher levels of security for everything from consumer credit card transactions to military communications.

This new method is more reliable as compared to the previous ones which as they either required that one of the two source sequences be truly random or both source sequences be close to truly random.

This makes harder for hackers to crack the data. Data encryption is critical when it comes to securing credit card purchases and bank transactions, keeping personal medical data private and shielding military communications from enemies, among many practical applications.

The new method developed by Professor David Zuckerman and graduate student Eshan Chattopadhyay takes two weakly random sequences of numbers and turns them into one sequence of truly random numbers. Weakly random sequences, such as air temperatures and stock market prices sampled over time, harbour predictable patterns. Truly random sequences have nothing predictable about them, like a coin toss.

Previous versions of randomness extractors were less practical because they either required that one of the two source sequences be truly random (which presents a chicken or the egg problem) or that both source sequences be close to truly random, researchers said.

Zuckerman said that although there are already methods for producing high-quality random numbers, they are very computationally demanding. His method produces higher quality randomness with less effort. “One common way that encryption is misused is by not using high-quality randomness. So in that sense, by making it easier to get high-quality randomness, our methods could improve security,” said Zuckerman.

(With inputs from PTI)

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First Published : 17 May 2016, 07:32:00 PM