Self-taught programmer solves 20-year-old cryptographic puzzle
A cryptographic puzzle designed by Ron Rivest back in 1999 has been prematurely solved by a self-taught Belgian programmer named Bernard Fabrot.
The puzzle was actually a part of a time capsule which wasn't meant to be opened for another 35 years - as that was the amount of time estimated to crack the puzzle, Wired reported. Fabrot used his home desktop and took three-and-a-half years to solve the puzzle.
The puzzle involved finding the number that results from running a squaring operation nearly 80 trillion times and multiple mathematical operations as per instructions to arrive at a number that can be translated into a short congratulatory phrase. The phrase will be revealed at the opening of the time capsule on May 15at MIT's Stata Center.
"Fabrot used a simple Intel Core i7-6700 found in consumer PCs, and computed the solution using the GNU Multiple Precision Arithmetic Library (GMP)", Adam Conner-Simons, MIT said in a blog post.