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Re: Encode

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg29551] Re: [mg29534] Encode
  • From: "Christopher J. Purcell" <purcell at>
  • Date: Sun, 24 Jun 2001 02:01:03 -0400 (EDT)
  • References: <>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

A look at the header of files created with Encode shows a very short 
key length, so short that a brute force attack by Mathematica is 
easy. I complained about this to WRI and their response was that the 
best strategy for protecting your work from prying eyes (most useful 
if your routines are, shall we say, lacking in elegance) is to 
distribute them as .mx files created with DumpSave, setting 
attributes ReadProtected and Locked on your functions. I would be 
curious to hear if anyone has studied the security offered (or not) 
by this latter approach.  If it is just encryption of notebooks prior 
to mailing them to a trusted friend that you need, PGP is very easy 
to use.

>Can anybody give me an idea of how sophisticated or strong the encryption
>behind "Encode" is?
>Thomas Fries

Dr. Christopher J. Purcell
Defence Research Establishment Atlantic
9 Grove St., Dartmouth, NS Canada B2Y 3Z7

Tel: 902-426-3100-x389
Fax: 902-426-9654
E-mail: purcell at

  • References:
    • Encode
      • From: Thomas Fries <>
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