What Sahai and a team of researchers at UCLA, IBM Research, and UT-Austin have created is a method for encrypting software and running it in that encrypted state. In the past, researchers have known that it’s possible to encrypt messages (this is how all secure communication on the web, bank transactions, etc. work) but it was not known whether or not it was possible to encrypt software in a way that it could still run even without being decrypted. Sahai’s “mathematical jigsaw puzzle” approach accomplishes this and, he says, adds a whole new class of protectable secret to the world of cryptography.
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