Can Every Form of Encryption be Defeated?

in crypto •  3 months ago

There was a great discussion in LinkedIn with someone posting a simple question about the strength of encryption over time.    

“Has there ever been any form of encryption that was not eventually decrypted or broken?”  

This is a pretty common question and the answer normally surprises people.    

Here was my response, which seemed to be popular with peers in the industry:   

There are technical and behavioral methods to break encryption.  No matter how complex and long a key or encryption cipher is, it can be eventually broken due to the purity of math.  Even One-Time-Pad (OTP) ciphers can be broken, as impossible as it sounds.  Normally technical (ex. brute force) attacks can be described based upon the computational power and time necessary to overwhelm the encryption.  In most cases it is far easier to pursue the behavioral paths (bribe, torture, or trick someone who knows the secret, or by simply gaining access to where the key's are stored - like in the case of OTP).   It is better to think of encryption as a process to temporarily obfuscate information.  The strength, implementation, and handling of the encryption determines the time it remains confidential.    


Everyone using cryptocurrency relies on encryption. What are your thoughts and concerns?      


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right on, i think you nailed it.

Encryption is a race in mathematics. Key sizes increase as compute speeds increase. New algorithms are introduced to change the game, but again compute speeds will eventually force them to change as well.

Is defeating encryption just hacking?

so this "math race" is just a competition of whos faster or whos smarter?