Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Feb. 28, 1997)
UNL professor secures information with codes
Crypti^aph^ computer science
keeps mathematician in high demand
By Josh Funk
Secret codes, encryption and se
cure lines may seem like something
out of a James Bond movie, but some
UNL professors are working to create
and break codes every day.
Spyros Magliveras, cryptographer
and computer science professor, writes
the codes that keep information se
Magliveras has been working in
computer science since before it was
an established discipline. A mathema
tician and engineer by degree,
Magliveras has worked with comput
ers and codes for the past 20 years.
“The first computer I ever built was
an 80/88 PC with a wooden keyboard
and makeshift keys,” Magliveras said,
One of Magliveras’ colleagues,
Doug Stinson, also is a well-recog
nized UNL cryptography expert.
Stinson is on the editorial board of
many scientific publications and has
written a book on cryptography, the
science of secret or hidden things.
In 1977 Magliveras made a break
through for his profession by discov
ering a cryptographic function in com
mon permutation groups that behaves
randomly and does not repeat.
Sound cryptic? It means that
Magliveras developed a function, like
an algebraic equation, that generates
a different result each time random
variables are plugged into it. It makes
sense as a code because it doesn t make
sense. It’s random, chaotic and stumps
people trying to break it.
Magliveras sent his code off to a
group of cryptanalysists, people who
specialize in breaking codes. He said
they told him they could break it in a
That was in 1988, Magliveras said,
and they haven’t figured out his func
Magliveras used this function to
write an encryption program called
Permutation Group Mapping, which
was invented to protect data transmis
Now, public and private organiza
tions use Magliveras’ invention. The
National Security Agency uses PGM,
and within the past few years,
Magliveras received a grant from US
West to fund PGM development there.
PGM can encode data, video or
voice transmissions in a matter of sec
onds. The data are then ready to be
sent across any transmission line.
When received, they can be decoded
There are versions of the PGM pro
gram available commercially for DOS,
and there will soon be a version avail
able for Microsoft Windows so people
can use a PGM coding to secure per
sonal transmissions, too.
Transmission traffic from comput
ers, phones, faxes and even from au
tomatic teller machines — which use
phone lines — are “open to anyone
who wants to listen,” Magliveras said.
_ Mait Miller/DN
SPYROS MAGUVERAS, a URL computer science professor, has been recognized as one of the world’s leading
cryteleglsts. A code he developed In 1977 is now nsed by the National Security Agency.
Cash transfers and important
records are sent across transmission
lines and need to be secured from pry
But “all modem communications
and electronic transfers are not secure
yet,” Magliveras said.
For some, the risk of someone
breaking a code and gaining unautho
rized access persuades them to keep
doing things the old-fashioned way.
The Securities and Commodities
Commission uses an electronic system
to keep track of the world’s stock mar
kets, but for security it is still using a
simple floppy disk, financial consult
ant Robert Carver said.
In the next few years as the coding
and security improves, though, Ameri
cans could be able to file their tax re
turns using their home computers,
The electronic transfer of cash and
other important information such as
medical records necessitate the use of
encryption, he said.
“If there is a patient out in a small
town without a doctor, his X-rays and
records can be sent to a hospital and
receive a diagnosis,” Magli veras said,
“but that information needs to be pro
Main St. Cafe draws
attention from all ages
CAFE from page 1
tin and tile.
Lux, who was shooting pool dur
ing his second visit Monday to the
cafe, said the decor made him feel 40
years younger—another atypical ex
perience for the 21-year-old.
Lux’s age group represents only a
portion of the diverse crowd drawn to
the cafe’s environment, said waitress
Holly Towns, a University of Ne
braska-Lincoln sophomore secondary
Towns said the cafe’s patrons in
clude students and professionals.
While students flock to the Thurs
day night $2 drink specials, business
people tend to dine on the
delicatessen’s 13 sandwiches and nine
soups, kitchen manager Brian Diglia
Bruce Miller, claims manager at
United Fire and Casualty, said he had
been a regular since the cafe’s Decem
Having no regular noon-time
hang-out before, Miller now visits up
to three times a week to dine on his
usual pastrami sandwich. He said he
enjoyed the cafe’s fast service and
“And my coffee cup’s always full,”
Olson said he felt the cafe’s atmo
sphere blurred the distinctions be
tween food and drink establishments,
attracting a diverse clientele many
other restaurants and bars don’t at
“Everyone asks me ‘What kind of
a bar is it?,” Olson said. “I don’t know.
Serving food and drink just broadens
the base of our patrons.”
Lux said Main St. Cafe’s impor
tance lies beyond its style and clien
tele, though, even beyond the 23
ounce Budweisers the waitress was
serving him Monday night.
“Having a place like this in the
’90s is the reason Elvis still lives in
all of us.”
Liquor licensing takes time
By Jim Goodwin
Getting a Nebraska liquor license
isn’t as difficult as cajoling the bar
tender for one more beer after last call,
but likewise, it requires protocol.
The three governor-appointed
members of the Nebraska Liquor Con
trol Commission ultimately decide
who receives a license, said Frosty
Chapman, the commission’s executive
The decision follows an investiga
tion by the Nebraska State Patrol and
recommendations by officials in the
Tyler Olson, a co-owner of bars in
Lincoln and Manhattan, Kan., is a
veteran of both states’ procedures.
Olson received his license for the
Main St. Cafe, 1325 0 St., in Decem
ber 1996. He said Nebraska’s process
was more stringent than other states’
because of Nebraska’s intricate licens
Nebraska recognizes 17 classes of
liquor licenses, which is about four
times the number Kansas does, Olson
Distinctions ire made between the
sale of numerous on- and off-sale com
binations of beer, wine and spirits.
Restrictions concerning the location
of restaurants, bars and package stores
inside and outside city limits also ap
ply. Additionally, manufacturers and
wholesalers receive licenses different
from retail establishments, according
to the Nebraska Liquor Control Com
Specifically, state statute requires:
■ Applicants file as individuals,
partnerships or corporations with the
state commission at 301 Centennial
Mall South. The process includes
choosing the appropriate class and
paying registration fees. Fees range
from a $30 on-sale beer license to a
$250 brewpub license.
■ The commission to give the
names, addresses and other informa
tion about applicants and their spouses
to the Nebraska State Patrol, which
fingerprints and does a national in
vestigation on all names on the appli
In Lincoln, the City Council con
ducts^ a public hearing in the appli
cants’ presence, listening tb investi
gation results from the Lincoln Police
Department, said city clerk Paul
Malzer. The council gives a recom
mendation to the liquor commission.
Other local considerations include
the uniqueness and locations of the
proposed businesses. Malzer said Lin
coln allowed a lot of bars downtown
because the district was designated as
an entertainment center.
Chapman said the entire process
could take one to three months. Af
terward, the state commission holds
its own public hearing, considering
local board recommendations, inves
tigation results and various character
related issues before deciding.
Refused applicants may appeal the
commission’s decision to Lancaster
County District Court and can go to
the Nebraska Supreme Court.
Campus-crime study released
CRIME from page 1
that in 1994,65 students out of every
100.00 were victims of violent crimes,
or 6.5 students per 10,000 students.
Using schools with on-campus
housing, the study found that 11.3 stu
dents per 10,000 were victims of vio
UNL’s rate, according to a Daily
Nebraskan study of FBI Uniform
Crime Report statistics, is 2.44 stu
dents per 10,000 in 1994, and 0.42
students per 10,000 in 1995.
Among Big 12 schools, Nebraska
ranked eighth in violent crimes per
Tops in the Big 12 was the Uni
versity of Oklahoma in Norman
; which, in 1994, had 5.98 violent
\ crimes per 10,000 students — still
5 below the national rate. Oklahoma
was followed by the University of Kan
sas in Lawrence, University of Mis
souri in Columbia, Texas Tech Uni
versity in Lubbock, Oklahoma State
in Stillwater, Texas A&M in College
Station, and the University of Colo
rado in Boulder.
In 1995, Nebraska had the lowest
violent crime rate. (Kansas, Kansas
State and Missouri did not report sta
tistics to the FBI for that year.)
Cauble said the FBI warns against
making campus-to-campus compari
sons using their uniform crime re
ports. There are many factors that af
fect campus crime rates in each city,
■ Ratio of males to females.
■ Demographics of the surround
■ Location of the school within the
■ Enrollment. i
■ Accessibility of the campus from
■ Number of police officers hired
by the campus.
Cauble, who said he had no prob
lems with the Daily Nebraskan study,
said nearly every campus did things
diferently or had different circum
stances. He said Baylor, a Big 12
school, is a private school with the
smallest enrollment — only a little
more than 12,000 students. That af
fects its crime rate.
The U.S. Department of Educa
tion, with the number of schools re
porting and the differences in those
reports, cannot make an accurate prop
erty crime report, Cauble said.
“With the system as it is now ...
it’s very difficult to compare rates,” ~
Cauble said. “There’s too many skews
hat go into the Department of Edu
cation to make it accurate.”
Below are the rates of reported violent crimes per 10,000 people fofBig 12 schools as compared
to the national average. Nebraska ranks as the fifth-tewest Big 12 school in violent crimes/^
a ■ .i
% * t|l
i.... ——.. . . .— Ji'_ |
Big 12 Schools ‘Statistics are based on data collected from 1994
Source: US Deft, op Education ‘ Aaron Steckelberg/DN
Powered by Open ONI