Paris, 9 May 2014

New algorithm shakes up cryptography

Researchers at the Laboratoire Lorrain de Recherches en Informatique et ses Applications (CNRS/Université de Lorraine/Inria) and the Laboratoire d'Informatique de Paris 6 (CNRS/UPMC) have solved one aspect of the discrete logarithm problem. This is considered to be one of the 'holy grails' of algorithmic number theory, on which the security of many cryptographic systems used today is based. They have devised a new algorithm (1) that calls into question the security of one variant of this problem, which has been closely studied since 1976. This result, published on the site of the International Association of Cryptologic Research and on the HAL open access archive, was presented at the international conference Eurocrypt 2014 held in Copenhagen on 11-15 May 2014 and published in Advances in cryptology. It discredits several cryptographic systems that until now were assumed to provide sufficient security safeguards. Although this work is still theoretical, it is likely to have repercussions especially on the cryptographic applications of smart cards, RFID chips (2), etc.

To download the press release : Cryptographie


(1) A method consisting in a series of instructions that enables a computer to solve a complex problem.
(2) An RFID chip is a computer chip coupled with an antenna that enables it to be activated at a distance by a reader and to communicate with it.


A Heuristic Quasi-Polynomial Algorithm for Discrete Logarithm in Finite Fields of Small Characteristic, Razvan Barbulescu, Pierrick Gaudry, Antoine Joux, Emmanuel Thomé, Advances in Cryptology – EUROCRYPT 2014, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Volume 8441, 2014, pp 1-16.

Contact information:

Emmanuel Thomé l T +33 (0)3 54 95 86 59 l
Pierrick Gaudry l T +33 (0)3 83 59 20 62 l

CNRS Press Office l Laetitia Louis l T +33 (0)1 44 96 51 37 l


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