Internet on the brink of catastrophe if 'age-old' encryptions aren't upgraded

Washington, Aug. 23 : The Internet may soon collapse resulting from a 'cryptopalypse' if the age-old encryption methods are not upgraded to modern day requirements.

A team of four researchers at the Black Hat security conference said that the result of such a disaster would be 'almost total failure of trust in the Internet' and to tackle this stronger cryptosystems that leverage more difficult mathematical problems are required.

According to Fox News, the researchers said that the age-old methods of encryption, the Diffie-Hellman and Rivest-Shamir-Adleman (RSA) shared encryption algorithms which were independently developed in the mid-1970s, are vulnerable to attacks.

The previous algorithms underlie many of the authentication and verification standards on the Internet including the secure HTTPS protocol, PGP, RSA keychain tokens and such certificates of authentication that software makers use to digitally 'sign' applications and updates.

The researchers said that without secure shared encryption, online monetary transactions and Internet-delivered software updates would no longer be trustworthy.

They added that the private industry has been slow to upgrade to next-generation shared encryption algorithms like those based on the elliptic-curve cryptography (ECC) method developed in the 1980s and refined in the past decade.

The report said that the widespread adoption of the ECC is due to the fact that many private companies like Certicom, a subsidiary of Blackberry, are holding up its patent.

The researchers have urged Web browser makers to upgrade to the next Internet secure-communications suite, TLS 1.2, which includes patent-free ECC currently used by Apple and Google in their iOS and Android smartphones, the report added.

--ANI (Posted on 23-08-2013)

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