Notre Dame math guru cracks code

Thursday, 7 November 2002, 12:24 PM EST

And you thought you had tough math homework?

Consider the work that went into cracking a secret code developed by Toronto-based Certicom, which makes wireless encryption software.

It took the power of 10,000 computers running around the clock for 549 days, coupled with the brainpower of a mathematician at Indiana's University of Notre Dame, to complete one of the world's largest single math computations.

Certicom had challenged scientists, mathematicians, cryptographers and hackers to try to break one of the encryption codes the company uses to protect digital data.

The solution, rewarded with a $10,000 prize and even richer bragging rights, was reached at 12:56 p.m. Oct. 15, said Notre Dame researcher and teacher Chris Monico.

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