Security codes deemed "unbreakable" have been discovered using a revolutionary new method that borrows from human biology, reports Phys.org. Patented by researchers at Lancaster University, the method was inspired by how the heart and lungs coordinate their rhythms by passing information back and forth.
Almost all of the electronic devices we use, from our car keys to our online bank accounts, rely on unique identification codes that allow information to be exchanged in private. Without these codes, our devices could easily be hacked. For instance, anyone with the right code to your car keys could unlock it at will. Meanwhile, your bank is waging a constant battle against hackers to keep your account secure.
In a similar way, our organs rely on a complex system of signals to communicate and coordinate our bodily functions. In fact, the "codes" our bodies use rely on a mathematical complexity far beyond anything modern communications utilize. But by studying and analyzing how our organs communicate, Lancaster University researchers were able to generate codes so complex that they might be unbreakable. The new bio-codes might even eventually end the war against hackers once and for all.
"This promises an encryption scheme that is so nearly unbreakable that it will be equally unwelcome to Internet criminals and official eavesdroppers," said professor Peter McClintock, one of the scientists working on the project.
What makes the bio-codes so advanced is that they offer an infinite number of choices for the secret encryption key shared between the sender and receiver. The infinity of possible combinations means that hackers could potentially spend an infinite amount of time trying to crack the code. In others words, breaking one of these codes would be nearly impossible.
Another advantage of the new method is that it can transmit several different information streams simultaneously, which could allow all of the devices in a home to operate on a single ultra-secure encryption key.
"Here we offer a novel encryption scheme derived from biology, radically different from any earlier procedure," explained Dr. Tomislav Stankovski, another of the project's lead researchers. "Inspired by the time-varying nature of the cardio-respiratory coupling functions recently discovered in humans, we propose a new encryption scheme that is highly resistant to conventional methods of attack."
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