Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Turing: physics and cryptography

People often ask me what a physicist is doing in information security. Here's a partial answer, from Alan Turing:

“There is a remarkably close parallel between the problems of the physicist and those of the cryptographer. The system on which a message is enciphered corresponds to the laws of the universe, the intercepted messages to the evidence available, the keys for a day or a message to important constants which have to be determined. The correspondence is very close, but the subject matter of cryptography is very easily dealt with by discrete machinery, physics not so easily.”

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