Researchers in the LACAL laboratory at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne have developed an Android app to crack a cryptographic system by enabling thousands of smartphones to work together on the task.
Users launch the application to run an algorithm many times in an effort to eventually break the cryptographic code. The app lets users form teams, view their statistics, and measure their participation.
"All of us do not necessarily have a computer for running the algorithm, making it difficult to gather a few dozen," says LACAL Lab student Ramasamy Gowthami. "On the other hand, everyone has a smartphone, and launching the application becomes a child's game."
Gowthami says it is important to constantly assess cryptographic systems because they can be broken at some point, so people can know their limitations and adapt them if they are no longer safe. For example, she says this can be achieved by extending the length of the encryption key.
"Since I was in charge of the interface between the program's components, I had to have a perfect knowledge of the elements of the algorithm," Gowthami notes.
From Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne
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