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Cryptology and Number Theory

Eleazer Bromberg, ACMD

This task aims at developing a broader and deeper range of competence and expertise at NIST in the mathematical and statistical methods underlying much of modern cryptology. This necessarily involves considerable concentration on many phases of number theory.

Under the Computer Security Act of 1987 NIST has been assigned certain responsibilities and obligations relating to cryptology and other aspects of the cost-effective security and privacy of sensitive information in Federal computer systems. While its responsibilities in these areas rest primarily with the Computer Security Division at NIST, the ACMD is in a position to make a considerable contribution to their efforts through the special background and skills of its staff.

Bromberg has directed much of his effort during the past year to a study of pertinent literature, and identification of suitable mathematical software. He has also held preliminary discussions of possible areas of cooperation with some members of the Computer Security Division.

Plans are under discussion for a cooperative effort leading to the development of standardized methods of characterization of the validity and security of current techniques of generating sequences of random numbers. Such sequences play a major role in cryptography.

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