Physical OneWay Functions
Abstract
Modern cryptographic practice rests on the use of oneway functions, which are easy to evaluate but difficult to invert. Unfortunately, commonly used oneway functions are either based on unproven conjectures or have known vulnerabilities. We show that instead of relying on number theory, the mesoscopic physics of coherent transport through a disordered medium can be used to allocate and authenticate unique identifiers by physically reducing the medium's microstructure to a fixedlength string of binary digits. These physical oneway functions are inexpensive to fabricate, prohibitively difficult to duplicate, admit no compact mathematical representation, and are intrinsically tamperresistant. We provide an authentication protocol based on the enormous address space that is a principal characteristic of physical oneway functions.
 Publication:

Science
 Pub Date:
 September 2002
 DOI:
 10.1126/science.1074376
 Bibcode:
 2002Sci...297.2026P
 Keywords:

 COMP MATH