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This article explains how researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, INRIA, CNRS and Universite de Lorraine have proven how the NSA broke the Diffie-Hellman key exchange algorithm.
The algorithm uses keys generated with large prime numbers, that is theorized that it would take hundreds or thousands of years to decrypt with today’s technology. According this article states that it took the researchers only two months, and 3,000 CPU’s to break a 1,024-bit key.
This was accomplished by “backdooring” the prime numbers used to compute the algorithm by randomly selecting very large primes from a pre-defined set which made it 10,000 times easier to solve the problem.
This article is very interesting. Most encryption is based on algorithms. While many are deemed to be secure, there are hundreds, or thousands, if not millions of people out there looking for ways to break the code. New discoveries are being made in mathematics that could possibly render some algorithms useless. the encryption is man made, and whatever can be engineered by man, can one day be un-engineered.