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The math that helped solve Fermat’s theorem Now protecting the digital world

Defenses against digital stalkers are getting stronger by the day. Encryption is what keeps communications secure when you use Signal and other messaging apps, conduct financial transactions online, buy and sell electronic money like Bitcoin and believe that Personal information in your Apple iPhone will be private.

While many types end-to-end encryption techniques that seek to protect the flow of information from spies and eavesdroppers, one of the most powerful and popular are elliptic curve cryptographywas invented in 1985. The basic math of this method helped to solve famous riddles Fermat’s last theorem and promoted by the charity of James M. Vaughn Jr., a wealthy oil heir. During the 1970s and 1980s, Mr. Vaughn funded experts to pursue mathematical conundrums that were deemed to have no real value.

Mr. Vaughn’s funding of Fermat studies has supported the investigation of elliptic curve as a possible solution. The little-known branch of mathematics turned out to give birth to a new generation of strong cryptography – especially elliptic curve cryptography.

In his 2009 autobiography, “Random curveNeal I. Koblitza mathematician from the University of Washington who assisted Mr. Vaughn and one of two inventors of engineering, described its “best friend” as the National Security Agency. An arm of the Pentagon, NSA do to strip the government of secrets while hiding their own. It mainly based on about elliptic curve cryptography.

In an interview, Mr. Vaughn said NSA officials sent math experts to the conferences he sponsored. “They were always there,” he recalls.

Of course, digital thieves are trying to undo decades of encryption with new types of spyware and cyberweapons. Public encryption has become so powerful that hackers often try gain control of the smartphone and steal their data before it is scrambled and transmitted securely.

In public talks, Andrew Wiles, an Englishman who solved the Fermat puzzle, rarely talks about cryptography. However, in 1999, he emotional about the topic at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in describing recent mathematical advances.

Dr. Wiles currently teaches at the University of Oxford, opening in 2013 100 million dollar building named after him. Officials from England equivalent to NSA – Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQno stranger to the Andrew Wiles Building.

For example, in 2017, two officials from GCHQ talked over there. They did Dan Shepherda researcher who helped discover a big hole in a proposed cipher, and Richard Pinchhead of the department of mathematics.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/31/science/fermat-elliptic-curves-encryption.html The math that helped solve Fermat’s theorem Now protecting the digital world

Fry Electronics Team

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