[ISN] Teenage email code's a cracker

From: mea culpa (jerichoat_private)
Date: Wed Jan 13 1999 - 09:39:05 PST

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    Forwarded From: Adam Bisaro <adbisaroat_private>
    Making your email secret is now 30 times faster, but the innovation has
    come not from a multinational computer computer but a schoolgirl from
    Blarney, Ireland. 
    Sarah Flannery, 16, has developed a brand new mathematical procedure for
    encrypting internet communication. 
    "The algorithm is based on matrices," her father told BBC News Online. Dr
    David Flannery is a mathematics lecturer at Cork Institute of Technology,
    "Sarah has a very good understanding of the mathematical principles
    involved, but to call her a genius or a prodigy is overstated and she
    doesn't want that herself. 
    "She's a normal young girl, who likes basketball and going out with her
    International job offers
    But her number-crunching feat is undoubtedly remarkable and won her the
    top prize at the Irish Young Scientists and Technology Exhibition. 
    International job and scholarship offers have flooded in, said Dr
    Flannery.  Last year, Ms Flannery's cryptography skill took her to Fort
    Worth, Texas, as the winner of an Intel prize. 
    Even when high security levels are required, her code can encrypt a letter
    in just one minute - a widely used encryption standard called RSA would
    take 30 minutes.  "But she has also proven that her code is as secure as
    RSA," says Dr Flannery. "It wouldn't be worth a hat of straw if it was
    Ms Flannery currently has a bad cold and has not had time to consider the
    advice of the judges to patent the code. "She wouldn't mind being rich but
    she wants to stress the great joy that the project has given her," says Dr
    Flannery. She may publish the work to make it freely available to all. 
    Her code is called Cayley-Purser after Arthur Cayley, a 19th century
    Cambridge expert on matrices, and Michael Purser, a cryptographer from
    Trinity College, Dublin, who provided inspiration for Ms Flannery. 
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