The book Foundations of Cryptography states:

It was understood that problems related to breaking a 1-1 cryptographic mapping could not be NP-complete and, more important, that NP-hardness of the breaking task was poor evidence for cryptographic security.

But I thought the whole point of complexity theory was to determine which problems were NP so that we might be able to use the infeasibility of their solutions to produce security?


1 Answer 1


NP is about worst case hardness. An NP-hard problem can in fact be very easy to solve for the majority of cases. This would obviously be a poor cryptographic system. Further, some NP-hard problems may even be quite easy to approximate. This could also be bad for cryptography.


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