Cryptopocalypse

Elliptic curve cryptography (ECC) is one of the algos that allow the Eris Industries stack to do what it does. It’s also used by other blockchain protocols such as Bitcoin. If you’re using our tools, you’re benefiting from some of the primary security properties of that tech.

If you’re not using ECC, you should be. Starting now. Today. From Ars Technica:

While there’s no guarantee that this catastrophe will occur—it’s even possible that one day it might be proven that the two problems really are hard—the risk is enough to have researchers concerned. The difficulties of change that BEAST et al. demonstrated mean that if the industry is to have a hope of surviving such a revolution in cryptography, it must start making changes now. If it waits for a genius mathematician somewhere to solve these problems, it will be too late to do anything about it.

Fortunately, a solution of sorts does exist. A family of encryption algorithms called elliptic curve cryptography (ECC) exists. ECC is similar to the other asymmetric algorithms, in that it’s based on a problem that’s assumed to be hard (in this case, the elliptic curve discrete logarithm). ECC, however, has the additional property that its hard problem is sufficiently different from integer factorization and the regular discrete logarithm that breakthroughs in either of those shouldn’t imply breakthroughs in cracking ECC.

Read the whole thing.

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