Breaking codes: An impossible task?

    Date15 Jun 2004
    CategoryCryptography
    5987
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    Recent reports that the United States had broken codes used by the Iranian intelligence service have intrigued experts on cryptology because a modern cipher should be unbreakable. Four leading British experts told BBC News Online that the story, if true, points to an operating failure by the Iranians or a backdoor way in by the National Security Agency (NSA) - the American electronic intelligence organisation. . . . Recent reports that the United States had broken codes used by the Iranian intelligence service have intrigued experts on cryptology because a modern cipher should be unbreakable. Four leading British experts told BBC News Online that the story, if true, points to an operating failure by the Iranians or a backdoor way in by the National Security Agency (NSA) - the American electronic intelligence organisation.

    The reports, from Washington, suggested that the Iranians had been tipped off by Ahmed Chalabi, an Iraqi political leader with links to Iran. He is said to have learned about the code-breaking from an American official who was drunk.

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