In an era of cyber wars through the Internet, students at the Jerusalem College
of Technology (JCT) have developed digital protection to ensure that users’
identity will not be abused and to prevent the “planting” of false information,
JCT said on Tuesday.
Recent reports of a cyber attack that paralyzed
Haifa’s Carmel tunnels in September again proved that while Internet use is
highly beneficial, it can also lead to crime, theft and the intentional
insertion of false data.
Eliran Gilad and Nehemia Lilenthal of the
electronic engineering department at the Orthodox college maintain that they
have found a way to fight the negative phenomena.
The new development was
presented last Thursday at a competition of the Society of Electrical and
Electronic Engineering- Israel (SEEEI) society.
The pair of JCT students
participated in the competition along with others from all university electronic
engineering departments and engineering colleges in the country. The two JCT
students’ project, supervised by JCT engineering department lecturer Uri Stroh,
was one of the competition’s top three winners.
The two students used an
algorithm to produce a digital signature for data with a variable length. The
original algorithm was developed by a team of world-renowned scientists in
cooperation with the Intel Corporation.
In the last few years, the
complex formula was cited by an international competition run by NIST, the US
National Institute for Standards and Technology, for setting a new standard for
the SHA-3 HASH algorithm.
The JCT project made use of advanced tools of
the Synopsys company, which is at the forefront of such technology, JCT
Licenses to use the technology were purchased in recent years by
JCT, and as part of the students’ project, they were put to use to pave the way
for future projects and courses.
Digital signatures have several uses in
One of them is for authenticating the identity of
Internet users. In this way, a signature was produced on documents and
identification of users.
These signatures are stored on the server, and
clients are used to secure the information in the database from external
So far, the use of digital signatures has been through software,
which makes its performance slow. The two college students’ digital protection
makes use of hardware 100 times faster than the the software implementation and
allows the generation of digital signatures at tremendous speed and with almost
The technology is especially relevant for servers with heavy
loads. Using the development, hackers who try to break into the system will be
unable to figure out others’ user names and steal their identify. In the new
system, servers do not store identities and passwords but digital
“We were proud to be among the top three winners,” said
Gilad, “and we hope we will be able to help preserve the safety level of the
JCT electronics engineering department head Dr. Yvgeny
Friedman praised his students for their accomplishment, while JCT CEO Shai
Gilboa said he was happy to see the students proven to be among the leaders in
computers and technology.