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Royal Holloway and the University of Otago access the Inforenz crypto supercomputer

Real-world cryptographic conundrums are to be investigated by top university information forensics researchers in collaboration with Inforenz, the UK-based information forensics consultancy.

Information forensics researchers based at Royal Holloway in London and the University of Otago in New Zealand are developing solutions to long-standing password and encryption challenges using Deep Thought, the Inforenz supercomputer. Deep Thought is a dedicated resource to crack passwords, recover encryption keys and conduct steganalysis (probing for hidden information in computer graphics). It is designed to help law enforcement agencies and commercial organisations tackle the most challenging elements of information forensics investigations.

“Information forensics is a rapid growth area because so much crime is now committed through computer fraud,” said Inforenz director Andy Clark, who has more than two decades experience in cryptography. “Our partnership with these two university centres of excellence is of great mutual benefit. It allows some of the best academic researchers in the field to gain access to Deep Thought and it gives us important theoretical perspectives to help develop solutions for law enforcement agencies and commercial organisations investigating fraud and industrial espionage.”

Dr Henry B Wolfe, who heads the Security Research Group at the University of Otago School of Business, said of the collaboration: “Access to Deep Thought and exposure to the real world challenges faced by information forensics investigators is of enormous value to us. We are eager to develop some very promising ideas which could transform forensics investigations. The power of Deep Thought will significantly accelerate our progress.”

Dr Keith Martin, Reader in the Information Security Group at Royal Holloway, commented: “The commercial world increasingly understands that cryptography underpins e-business. Through our collaboration with Inforenz, a leader in password-cracking and in the recovery of concealed data, we want to investigate how people construct and use passwords so that academic theory can better inform information forensics investigations.”

Notes To Editors

About Deep Thought and the Deep Thought Partner Programme

The Inforenz supercomputer, Deep Thought, is a parallel computing platform dedicated to performing data recovery tasks that would overwhelm other computers. With an exceptionally scalable set of clusters of nodes processing cryptographic tasks in a highly distributed architecture, Deep Thought can be deployed quickly and flexibly over a number of simultaneous tasks, and delivers results rapidly.

The Deep Thought Partner Programme enables commercial organisations to submit data in complete confidence and security to Inforenz who will take their investigation to the next level by probing the data to recover concealed information.

About Inforenz

Inforenz Limited is a computer forensics investigation company dedicated to helping law enforcement agencies and commercial organisations solve their most challenging information recovery problems, especially those involving password protection, encryption and steganography. Inforenz provides support services throughout or at the most difficult stages in computer forensics investigations.

Co-directors Andy Clark, Vince Gallo and Nick Spenceley, key players in the development of information security over the past two decades, founded Inforenz in 2001. Together with other staff and trusted partners selected for their knowledge, experience and integrity, they offer real-world investigation experience, technical knowledge and sound management practice for the benefit of clients and partners.

Media Enquiries
Stephen Fleming at SCHAEL Limited
Tel +44 (0) 1635 299116
Fax +44 (0) 1635 299115

General Enquiries
Andy Clark
Director, Inforenz Limited
Tel +44 (0) 1293 874140
Fax +44 (0) 1293 821412

Dr Henry B. Wolfe
Associate Professor, Otago School of Business, University of Otago
tel. +64 (3) 479 8141
Fax +64 (3) 479 8311

Dr Keith Martin
Reader, Information Security Group
Royal Holloway, University of London
tel. +44 (0) 01784 443099
Fax +44 (0) 01784 430766

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