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IISc team develops record data encryption that will make credit cards and passwords more secure

A team from IISc Bengaluru has developed a true random number generator (TRNG) that can help improve data encryption while improving the security of sensitive digital data, a new PTI report reveals.


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For those who don’t know, encrypted information can only be decoded by authorized users who have access to a cryptographic key, and this key must be random so that it is not easily hacked.

These keys are often generated by computers through pseudo-random number generators that use a mathematical formula or pre-programmed tables to produce numbers that appear random but are not.

TRNGs, on the other hand, extract random numbers from random physical processes, making it safer overall.

IISc’s TRNG generates random numbers using the random motion of electrons. It consists of an artificial electron trap constructed by stacking atomically thin layers of materials such as black phosphorus and graphene.

The current measured from the device increases when an electron is trapped and decreases when released. Since electrons move in and out of the trap randomly, the measured current also fluctuates randomly. The timing of this change determines the random number generated.

This number generator also has record minimum entropy – a parameter used to measure the performance of TRNGs where the value ranges from zero being completely predictable to one being completely random.

The IISc team has developed improved data encryption that will make credit cards and passwords more secure

The IISc implementation scored 0.98, a huge improvement from the previously held record of 0.89.

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Kausik Majumdar, associate professor at ECE, who led the study, explains: “Ours is by far the highest minimum entropy among TRNGs,” says Abraham. The team’s electronic TRNG is also more compact than its bulkier counterparts that are based on optical phenomena. Since our device is purely electronic, millions of these devices can be created on a single chip. »

The team is working on the device to make it faster as well as developing a new manufacturing process that would allow mass production of such chips.

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