Crack this service and win £30,000

Mail service puts cash on the line to show off its security. Four-hundred-eight-bit encryption, anyone?

London-based e-commerce company Global Market has issued a £30,000 challenge to anyone who can crack its new high-security email service, 1on1 mail.

Global Market is so confident that the service is impregnable that CEO Leo Scheiner believes he will never have to pay-up. "We are not a charity," he says. "We don't expect anyone to collect."

1on1 can offer a number of security services because it requires unique software to be installed on both sender and recipient's computer. Services include email tracking and self-destructing messages.

Anyone considering perhaps just breaking into Global Market's servers or even its offices will be sadly disappointed, however. The challenge is based on the condition that someone breaks a 408-bit encrypted file without the requisite 2000-bit encryption key. This is not likely to be too easy. As Scheiner says, "We have calculated that it would take the fastest computer in the world one and a half times the lifetime of the sun to break this code."

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