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Programmer solves 20-year-old cryptographic puzzle

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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 15.

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First Published: Apr 30 2019 | 9:47 PM IST

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