Academic journal article International Journal of Humanities and Peace

SWEDISH Team Deciphers Simon Singh's "The Code Book"

Academic journal article International Journal of Humanities and Peace

SWEDISH Team Deciphers Simon Singh's "The Code Book"

Article excerpt

LONDON (Reuters) -- A team of Swedish computer enthusiasts have fought off thousands of rivals from around the world to crack what was billed as the toughest code challenge ever set.

It took the Swedish the equivalent of 70 years of computer time to decipher 10 increasingly difficult codes set by author Simon Singh in his international bestseller "The Code Book".

They ranged from ciphers dating back to ancient Greece, Victorian codes and the famed Nazi Enigma code machine from World War Il. "It is the toughest code that has ever been cracked," Singh said on Oct. 12, before handing over the first prize cheque for 10,000 [pounds sterling] ($15,000) to the team headed by Fredrik Almgren.

Almgren works on the Internet security. He solved the puzzle with software developer Torbjorn Granlund and a team of three computer afficionados from the Royal Institute of Technology, based in Stockholm.

The challenge had obsessed thousands of code breakers around the world. They even set up their own Web site, which attracted 2,500 fans ranging from a 14-year-old schoolboy to mathematics professors. Singh, believing that the ultimate prize was out of their reach, had already given a $1,000 prize to two computer enthusiasts who had cracked the first nine codes.

However, the Swedes came through with the solution to the final "512-bit" code. …

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