Thursday, February 9, 1995
Datateknik Op-ed: Smart Cards Await Nuclear Power Debate
Asymmetric cryptoalgorithms are used for banking etc. They build on the multiplication and factorization of prime numbers. Multiplying two large prime numbers is quick, but factorizing the product into the original prime numbers takes an enormous effort. But there is no mathematical proof saying it can't be done with a simple algorithm. Like with nuclear power, the probability is small that something will happen, but if a simple algorithm for factorizing any number into primes appears, it could result in a total meltdown of business if unprepared for.