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Keeping passwords, credit card numbers and cryptographic codes in computer programs safe will require less computing power in future. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems have developed a new technology by the name of ERIM to isolate software components from one another. As a result, sensitive data can be protected from hackers.

Standard isolation techniques require around 30% extra power for computer programs, and a corresponding additional number of servers have to be operated for online services, for example. “Many services won’t accept that and therefore do not use any isolation techniques,” explains Deepak Garg, a leading scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Software Systems. “Our isolation technology takes only 5% more computing time, making it very attractive to companies.” It is therefore more practical for online services like Google or Facebook to use the technology. That’s why the US specialist computing association Usenix and Facebook awarded the researchers the Internet Defense Prize , which they give for outstanding developments in making the Internet more secure. The prize is worth $100,000.