While modern ciphers like AES and the higher quality asymmetric ciphers are widely considered unbreakable, poor designs and implementations are still sometimes adopted and there have been important cryptanalytic breaks of deployed crypto systems in recent years. Notable examples of broken crypto designs include the first Wi-Fi encryption scheme WEP, the Content Scrambling System used for encrypting and controlling DVD use, the A5/1 and A5/2 ciphers used in GSM cell phones, and the CRYPTO1 cipher used in the widely deployed MIFARE Classic smart cards from NXP Semiconductors, a spun off division of Philips Electronics. All of these are symmetric ciphers. Thus far, not one of the mathematical ideas underlying public key cryptography has been proven to be 'unbreakable', and so some future mathematical analysis advance might render systems relying on them insecure. While few informed observers foresee such a breakthrough, the key size recommended for security as best practice keeps increasing as increased computing power required for breaking codes becomes cheaper and more available.
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“I am not afraid of the priests in the long-run. Scientific method is the white ant which will slowly but surely destroy their fortifications. And the importance of scientific method in modern practical lifealways growing and increasingis the guarantee for the gradual emancipation of the ignorant upper and lower classes, the former of whom especially are the strength of the priests.”
—Thomas Henry Huxley (182595)