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.…
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.
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!
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…
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…
How can we use foxes and rabbits help transmit secret messages? No animal cruelty is necessary - a new technique encodes messages using a predator-prey model normally used to predict the changes in animal populations. This advance in steganography could revolutionize the art of secrecy.
Ready for a piece of technology you can rampantly steal for NaNoWriMo? How about secretly encoded E. coli that glow and can be used to send messages? Researchers have developed a way of getting seven strains of the bacteria to fluoresce in seven different colors. You can use them to create a secret message that…
The Voynich Manuscript first came to (modern) light in 1912. It is named after Wilfrid Voynich, a rare book dealer who plucked the forgotten tome from a dusty shelf in a Jesuit college near Rome, and made it famous. Illustrations of planets, plants, and 'bathing' women decorate its pages. It is also covered with dense…
A new method of data storage that converts information into DNA sequences allows you to store the contents of an entire computer hard-drive on a gram's worth of E. coli bacteria...and perhaps considerably more than that.
Imagine a form of encrypted communication so secure that it's physically impossible to access it unless you're actually at the location where you're supposed to hear it. Quantum mechanics makes location-based cryptography possible - without any pesky codes or keys.
Generating truly random numbers is notoriously difficult. But now, using a quantum system, researchers have managed to create 42 genuinely random numbers. Their discovery is a major breakthrough for cryptography, and could one day enable truly private communication online.
Thanks to quantum computing, we now have a fairly precise idea how much energy a hydrogen molecule gives off. Gone are the days when we had to guess this sort of thing by tossing atoms from hand to hand.
In a breakthrough in quantum cryptography, a team of 41 institutions has created the world's largest quantum key distribution network. The network enables them to create the most foolproof system in history for sending secret messages.