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Security of E-commerce threatened by 512-bit number factorization

On August 22 1999, a team of scientists from six different countries, led by  Herman te Riele of CWI (Amsterdam), found the prime factors of a 512-bit number,  whose size models 95% of the keys used for protection of electronic commerce  on the Internet. This result shows, much earlier than expected at the start  of E-commerce, that the popular key-size of 512 bits is no longer safe against  even a moderately powerful attacker. The amount of money protected by 512-bit keys is immense.

W3C accepts New Multimedia Standard for Web Presentations

The W3C consortium has accepted a new standard for multimediapresentations on the Internet. This was announced by Tim Berners-Lee, the consortium's director and inventor of the World Wide Web (WWW), in a press release on the Web ( on June 15. The world-wide W3C consortium was established in order to guide the Web's development.CWI hosts the local W3C office in The Netherlands. The new standard, SMIL (pronounced 'smile'), is a specification language for synchronized, interactive multimedia presentations on the Internet.

CWI Director Van Oortmerssen elected ERCIM President in 1998

At a meeting of the Board of Directors of ERCIM, the European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics, in Bonn on 29 May 1998, CWI Director Gerard van Oortmerssen was elected ERCIM President for a period of two years. Jointly with INRIA (France) and GMD (Germany), CWI founded ERCIM in 1989. The consortium's aim is to foster cooperation within the European research community in informatics and applied mathematics, as well as with the European Trade & Industry sector.

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