IBM and Microsoft researchers to make software unhackable?

Posted on Wednesday, February 05 2014 @ 11:59 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
Researchers from IBM and Microsoft announced they've made a breakthrough in the quest for unbreakable cryptography. The team claims their new encryption algorithm could protect not just an output, but an entire program. This type of program obfuscation could lead to ultra-secure software that it very hard to hack.
The idea of obfuscating a program has been around for decades — software companies have tried all sorts of methods to distort their code in order to prevent others from seeing how it worked. However, the security and hacking communities have been able to defeat all these measures. Cryptographic experts have long been tinkering with stronger approaches, but it wasn’t until the most recent collaboration that the pieces started falling into place.

Cryptographers have been chasing the idea of a so-called “black box obfuscator” for years. The idea is that any program passed through the black box would be so fundamentally garbled that no one would be able to figure out how it worked or what secrets it might hold — only inputs and outputs would be visible, which is exactly what you want. This method could make communications almost completely secure. All you would need to do is create encryption keys with an obfuscated program, then make that program available to the other party — or everyone for that matter, since no one would be able to figure out the decryption key from examining the obfuscated program.
Full details at ExtremeTech.

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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