At its core, cryptography relies on the mathematical quirk that some things are easier to do than to undo. Just as it’s easier to smash a plate than to glue all the pieces back together, it’s much easier to multiply two prime numbers together to obtain one large number than it is to factor that large number back into two prime numbers. Asymmetries of this kind – one-way functions and trap-door one-way functions – underlie all of cryptography.

View the most recent posts on Hobo Signs by Macdrifter or all of the posts in the archive.