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Challenge Team Interim Report

 Team Number: 071 School Name: Mayfield High School Area of Science: Data Security Project Title: TALES FROM THE CRYPTography
 Abstract Interim Final Report

The need for secure data encryption is becoming greater every day. Illegal access of data is becoming more and more common. For individuals with crucial data, large businesses, and government, cryptography has not been easy to use or secure enough to handle sensitive information until recent years. This program is designed to have an easy-to-use interface while not sacrificing security. It utilizes a completely original encryption scheme. Our research has indicated that nothing similar to our encryption process exists.

The process is based on the mathematical concept found in the Rubiks cube. By dividing the cube into a 3x3x3 matrix, as in the standard Rubiks cube, each character in the English alphabet can be assigned to an individual coordinate in a three-dimensional space. The remaining coordinate is dedicated to the "space" character. Once the cube has been established, each letter of the message can be replaced with it's coordinate within the cube. For further security, the cube will be rotated and twisted like a Rubiks cube after each letter, so that the system is protected against letter frequency analysis. In addition, we intend to use RCA encryption to further secure the data. The resulting thoroughly encrypted coordinate points are then re-converted to ASCII text and placed in an external data file.

At this time, we have developed a working pair of programs, which utilize a simplified version of the method described above. Thanks to the cryptography teacher at Mayfield High School, we have learned of many types of encryption methods and how they may be "cracked." This has given us a unique insight with which to develop a extraordinarily robust encryption system, impervious to all methods of "cracking" known to us at this time. Currently it does not support RCA re-encryption and advanced manipulation of the Rubiks cube.

We plan to write this program in fully ANSI standard C. This will allows us the ability to compile the same source code on most operating systems. We hope to create versions for DOS, Windows 95/98/2000, Macintosh, Linux (and compatible operating systems ), and possibly other operating systems by the project deadline. We would like an opportunity to analyze our encryption utility under higher stress. However, we currently have to means to fulfill this wish.

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