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"I coded an algorithm for making the system secure, but my classmate with his amateur hacking skills _____ it in just seven minutes."

"What happened that day was an algorithmic _______ (breakdown??)"

Which appropriate words complete the sentences, to imply that he hacked/decrypted/broke it down?

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  • An algorithm doesn't get "hacked". An algorithm for encryption (there are many other kinds of algorithms) may be shown to be "weak", in that the key for a given encrypted document can be easily discovered, but that's not really "hacking". – Hot Licks Nov 19 '15 at 0:55
  • @HotLicks: I agree. Bad example there. I implied that he quickly discovered a key to wriggle his way into my system. A word for that that completes the sentence? – Raj Nov 19 '15 at 0:57
  • He broke the code (or broke the algorithm, if you must). (Broke is the term used by, well, "code breakers" since before WWII.) – Hot Licks Nov 19 '15 at 0:59
  • @HotLicks: So, is it okay to say what happened was an 'algorithmic breakdown'? – Raj Nov 19 '15 at 1:02
  • No, that would not be at all idiomatic. – Hot Licks Nov 19 '15 at 1:03
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In programming terms, he "cracked" the algorithm.

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  • Beat me to it. +1 – pyobum Nov 19 '15 at 0:51
  • That's nice! Doesn't fit my sentence though. Any synonyms? Non-programming will also work! Thanks. – Raj Nov 19 '15 at 0:52
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    How about this? "I coded an algorithm for making the system secure, but my classmate with his amateur hacking skills cracked it in just seven minutes" … and "What happened that day was an algorithmic crackfest." – ralph.m Nov 19 '15 at 1:12
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    @Raj It's a well-established usage in English to "crack" a code/algorithm/password/etc. See here for this example in context: "Earlier this week, Chinese hackers enabled this new 'business' by cracking the algorithm used to generate the voucher codes printed on real prepaid iTunes Gift Cards." – pyobum Nov 19 '15 at 1:16
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"Compromised" was the word I was searching for!

Nonetheless, the answers by @ralph.m, @JEL, @MortimerBallsack and @HotLicks also fit. Thanks!

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