The evolving nature of the Internet will require continual advances in authentication and confidentiality protocols. Nature provides some clues as to how this can be accomplished in a distributed manner through molecular biology. Cryptography and molecular biology share certain aspects and operations that allow for a set of unified principles to be applied to problems in either venue.

NASA GSFC has developed a cybersecurity security protocol consisting of message exchanges utilizing message authentication codes and encryption codes derived from the genetic encoding system for key generation, proteins, and the processes of transcription and translation of DNA and RNA into proteins. These are used in conjunction with the existing principles of a public key infrastructure, and traditional encryption and authentication algorithms and processes. This security protocol requires a cryptanalysis infrastructure not available to most attackers. By using the processes of transcription and translation of actual genes (referred to as biogenes), in conjunction with a genomic and proteomic-based encryption and authentication approach, security is achieved in two simultaneous domains. An attacker has to successfully breach both domains simultaneously for successful network attack.

NASA is seeking partners to further develop this technology through joint cooperative research and development. For more information about this technology and to explore opportunities, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; 301-286-5810. Follow this link for more information: here .


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This article first appeared in the April, 2018 issue of Tech Briefs Magazine.

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