If the NSA is able to break through banks' computer security, does that mean it solved the prime factorization problem?
The New York Times reported
recently that “the agency has circumvented or cracked much of the encryption, or digital scrambling, that guards global commerce and banking systems.” Since banks' encryption codes rely on the fact that nobody knows how to find the prime factors of really large numbers, it could mean that the NSA has found a way to do that. Or it could mean that the NSA has simply gotten lots of banks to give up their information, or found other ways around their encryption. But if they've cracked this long-standing math problem, might the secret leak? What would be the effects?
posted by Sleeper
on Sep 12, 2013 -
You know about numbers, right? Natural numbers, rational numbers, integers, real numbers, complex numbers, prime numbers, funny numbers, illegal numbers. Illegal numbers? Well, there’s the illegal numbers game
. Apparently 69 is illegal in Virginia
, among other places. But did you know about illegal prime numbers
? My brain is getting number by the day. (via digg)
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium
on Apr 15, 2006 -
Find a 10 million digit prime number,
get $100,000! "Now the bad news. Testing a single 10,000,000 digit number takes a full year on a 500 MHz Pentium III computer."
This GIMPS organization merely provides software to do the searching process (not to mention they take most of the profits if you DO find a new prime).
posted by grank
on May 18, 2001 -
Mersenne Prime Search
is a distributed computing project much like Seti@home
, except instead of searching for aliens, you're in the running for $100,000 and a place in math history (shouldn't your computer actually be the one that goes into the math history books?).
posted by mathowie
on Jul 7, 2000 -