A lattice approach could be used to develop fully homomorphic encryption solutions, says IBM researcher Craig Gentry, a Stanford University Ph.D. candidate. Gentry's research, which was recently published in the Proceedings of the 2009 ACM International Symposium on Theory of Computing, describes the technique as using an encryption scheme that can evaluate its decryption circuit.
A fully homomorphic encryption system could potentially offer unlimited mathematical operations for analyzing encrypted information, compared with the limited operations of normal lattice encoding. Such operations conducted on encrypted text would be more efficient and affordable. Data security, cloud computing, and antispam efforts all stand to benefit from the ability to manipulate data while leaving it encrypted.
"This is . . . one of the most remarkable crypto papers ever," says PGP cryptographer Hal Finney. "I have to go back to Godel's and Turing's work to think of a comparable example."
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