October 31, 2023

How Lava Lamps Keep The Internet Safe

Ask any person what “encryption” means and they are likely to tell you that it helps to keep your precious data safe, but at its most basic, the term refers to a level of randomness used to safeguard information. An American cybersecurity firm has found the most unlikely source of randomness: lava lamps.

The more the encryption key can scramble data, the better the protection, as more mathematical computations would be needed in order to determine the code used; this is the primary reason why Cloudflare in San Francisco, California makes use of a wall containing 100 lava lamps.

A camera pointed at the wall takes a snapshot at regular intervals: the assortment of coloured pixels are assigned numerical values, which provide an encryption key.

“To produce the unpredictable, chaotic data necessary for strong encryption, a computer must have a source of random data. The ‘real world’ turns out to be a great source for randomness, because events in the physical world are unpredictable,” states Cloudflare’s official website.

The method is so effective that the lava lamp wall encrypts up to 10% of the Internet.

Not only is the gloopy wall an ingenious means of protecting information across the globe, but it also ties the room together and looks groovy.

Image Credit: Source