Researchers find way to encrypt software with “mathematical jigsaw puzzles”


When it comes to protecting software, you’re only as good as your file encryption. A UCLA computer professor and his research team have figured out a way to encrypt software in a way that allows users access to the program but not the source code.

Amit Sahai says his team has developed a new technique for “software obfuscation,” which deliberately creates confusing source code that is difficult to understand. Where traditional obfuscation methods often only delay a hacker before he cracks the encryption via reverse-engineering, Sahai’s method utilizes mathematical puzzles that respond to any attempts at cracking with a series of complex functions that, he says, would take hundreds of years to solve on a traditional computer.

“You write your software in a nice, reasonable, human-understandable way and then feed that software to our system,” Sahai said in a press release. “It will output this mathematically transformed piece of…

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