Better Security for IoT, Messaging and Data Storage
Take me to the £1000 cryptographic challenge!

£1000 Cryptographic Challenge!

Cryptography is central to cybersecurity in the modern world, but current techniques are vulnerable, if not entirely broken, by new computational paradigms, such as Quantum Computing.

The only perfectly secure cryptosystem to date is the One Time Pad, but it is entirely unsuited to modern requirements. 3SA is a proposed cryptosystem equivalent to a "many time pad", exhibiting perfect, post-quantum security. It is based on Secret Sharing, such that the sender generates random garble based on the confidential message, and even two similar (or identical) messages result in randomly different transmitted data.

In this challenge, the (pictorial) secret message is identical for all 999 transmissions. CAN YOU CRACK THIS CODE?

3SA Challenge

Share A can be combined with any of the 999 share Bs to reveal the secret image. You are provided with the 999 share Bs. Your challenge is to reverse engineer them to reveal the secret image. To win the challenge, you must provide this image to us, along with a technical description of how you did it. (Note that unethical practices are not eligible, and only the first to crack the code can receive the prize.)

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By clicking the DOWNLOAD CHALLENGE button below, you consent to us sending an inquiry to you in the future via email.

What we are about

COMPATRIOT is short for Collaborative Multi-Party Authentication Towards a Reliable Internet Of Things. We have developed a way to use secret sharing, a highly secure, efficient and collaborative form of cryptography, for cybersecurity in existing and emerging technology. Our underlying algorithm is termed 3SA (Share-Send/Store Algorithm, harnessing the security of secret sharing.

IoT Security

Security in IoT barely exists, which is shocking, given the rapid emergence of the "smart" world. We suggest 3SA as a method for implementing security in IoT devices. It is efficient and can enforce the need for multiple devices to collaborate in the sending of signals before actuation. We are also exploring its role in eliminating IoT passwords.

Secure Web Messaging

We have a simple-to-use, lightweight browser extension that converts any piece of text into a sequence of purely random numbers that can only be decoded by the intended recipient. All it takes is three clicks. Even if the identical message is encoded again later, a randomly different sequence of random numbers is generated. Easy set-up and peace of mind when sending highly confidential information over non-secure lines!

Secure Data/Cloud Storage

3SA can also be applied to data stored in databases and in the Cloud. Every hour of every day, multiple company databases are being hacked, with valuable customer data compromised. With our methods, only random numbers need ever be stored.

The Share-Send/Store Algorithm (3SA)


3SA is based on secret sharing. If implemented in the correct way, secret sharing is highly secure. In fact, individual "shares" of the confidential message contain no information whatsoever about the message.

The problem with conventional secret sharing is that it cannot be used as a cryptographic cipher, as it would be necessary to transmit all shares. A hacker could obtain these and retrieve the message. 3SA solves this problem.

With 3SA, the master share in a communication is fixed, and a new share is created to securely transmit a message. The transmitted data (the transient share) is not merely an encrypted version of the message, but a sequence of entirely random numbers. Share-Send is resilient to all common cryptanalysis.

We suggest 3SA for securing the Internet-of-Things (IoT), communicating signals comprising only random bit sequences. 3SA offers several advantages over conventional ciphers, such as RSA, AES, TwoFish, etc.:


Secret Sharing




Secret sharing was first devised in 1979 by Adi Shamir, co-inventor of the famous RSA cipher. Its origins can however be traced to the one-time-pad of the 1960s. In conventional cryptography, the "plaintext" message is encrypted using a key. The result is a function of the plaintext and key, known as the "ciphertext".

In secret sharing, there are no keys, but "shares", each completely random, containing no information whatsoever about the plaintext. The plaintext, known as the "secret", is only revealed when valid subsets of the shares are combined.

There are many ways of doing secret sharing. In the simplest possible implementation, there are two shares needed, and the secret is converted into a stream of binary digits, for example 11011110001. The first share is a totally random bit stream, the same length as the secret, such as 00111001010. The second share is the binary XOR of the first share and the secret. In this example, it would be 11100111011.

The secret can now be destroyed and shares retained and distributed. It is impossible for the share holders to reveal the secret by themselves, but it can be retrieved by simply XORing the two shares.

In Shamir's method, known as Shamir Secret Sharing, there are n shares, any k of which can reveal the secret. For this a k-1-degree polynomial equation is needed, with n coordinates on its resulting curve chosen (normally at regular x-intevals), and the y coordinates are taken as the shares.

Secret sharing has many uses, such as in secure multi-party computation, securing passwords and cipher keys, and in Cloud security, but it is not currently used as a stand-alone cipher. This is the purpose of our Share-Send/Store Algorithm (3SA), harnessing the highly secure nature of secret sharing.


Dr Neil Buckley

Entrepreneurial Lead

Prof. Atulya K. Nagar

Principal Investigator

Howard Yates, CEO of Tento Technologies

Business Advisor

Colin Cooper

Technology Transfer Officer

Contact Us

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or suggestions of any kind.

Contact Neil Buckley via email bucklen [at] hope [dot] ac [dot] uk or social media above, for any technical information, or if you would like to talk about your cybersecurity needs.

Contact Howard Yates via email hy [at] tento [dot] co [dot] uk or social media above, if you would like to talk about your cybersecurity needs.

Thank you!