Death of public key?

Fisher, Dennis
September 2004
eWeek;9/20/2004, Vol. 21 Issue 38, p30
The article focuses the death of the public-key cryptography, the foundation upon which the e-commerce system is built. When word began circulating recently that a French mathematician working at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, claimed to have produced a proof of the famous Riemann hypothesis, the news touched off a small firestorm of speculation and dire predictions about the consequences of the proof. If true, some mathematicians and security experts said, the proof would render public-key cryptography toothless, bringing a halt to all the world's electronic financial transactions. But despite breathless news stories and doomsday predictions regarding public-key cryptography, it turns out those predictions are hyperbolic at best and utterly false at worst, experts say. The Riemann hypothesis is an immensely complex theory that concerns the distribution of prime numbers among other numbers. A key aspect about the relationship between math and public-key cryptography is that all of the theories and calculations that underlie the concept of public-key cryptography have been exposed for decades.


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