The cunning way that hackers break so-called unbreakable encryption


As discussed in a recent Monday Note titled “Let’s Outlaw Math,” electronic messages that are encoded with modern encryption techniques are truly indecipherable by interlopers—it doesn’t matter whether they’re criminals or governments. The latter have attempted to legislate backdoors that only they can use (to protect us, of course), but there’s a danger: These “golden keys” could fall into the wrong hands. In any case, a backdoor only works where it’s been installed; unbreakable public domain encryption is available to everyone, terrorists and traffickers included.

So… case closed, good guys and bad guys alike can “safely” use unbreakable codes?

Not so fast.

A fundamental feature of a properly encoded cryptogram is that it looks random: a sequence of (say) letters without any detectable pattern or meaning.