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Feds Plow $10 Billion into Crypto Cracking Program (arstechnica.com)
27 points by josephwegner 1541 days ago | hide | past | web | 18 comments | favorite



Seems to be working with the GCHQ/Scotland Yard claiming to be decoding a TryeCrypt volume, likely with cooperation from the USA http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/30/us-usa-security-sn...


There's no claim that TrueCrypt was compromised.

Miranda reportedly had a password printed on a piece of paper. And a big chunk hasn't been decrypted.

More here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6303876


The claim that he had the password on him is being denied. What they really should have done is hand transported a very large one-time pad, and after a one-time is successfully transported without interception, transport the data encoded with the one-time pad.


I don't think that's very newsworthy until they claim to have successfully decrypted one. Law enforcement has wasted plenty of time in the past trying to decrypt these, and failing.


Well, this is one specific instance. He could very well have had a poor TrueCrypt password.

Or the laptop was on and unencrypted at the time of its confiscation.


If a mathematical breakthrough in factoring is discovered, rending RSA ineffective, would that end secure communications, or are there other methods that would remain untouched?


There are other methods. Firstly, factoring is mostly only useful for asymmetric algorithms, which are typically used only for key exchange. So, if you can negotiate your key through a secure side channel, then you do not need to worry about RSA. Additionally, in some respects, you might say that we have already had the breakthrough in factoring because of quantum computers. At this point it is simply a matter of engeneering a large enough quantum computer to be able to attack crypto-systems. Because of this most research into replacements is done under the name of post-quantum cryptography; and there appear to be several workable methods in that area.


Thanks for this answer. Do you know the names of the names of the workable post-quantum methods?


I haven't worked with any post-quantum stuff, but a quick search on Google Scholar brough up [0], which has a nice table of contents, and the explanations are understandable with only a background of general math (but they are mathy explanations). You might also want to checkout the wikipedia entries, which have more englishy explanations [1]

[0]https://www-old.cdc.informatik.tu-darmstadt.de/lehre/WS09_10...

[1]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-quantum_cryptography


Symmetric encryption algorithms such as AES would not be compromised by any advances in factoring or quantum computation. I don't know of any asymmetric algorithms that are immune - but my knowledge of that domain is limited.


"Consolidated Cryptologic Program has 35,000 employees working to defeat enemy crypto."

Yeah, "enemies" such as Miranda.


Yes, what is meant by enemies? Is it Iran and North Korea, or are China and Russia actually considered enemies within the NSA? I ask because there's a lot of chatter today about having hacked Chinese telecom for the last 15 years. Are enemies just all foreign persons? I wish I knew who our enemies are, maybe the public wont agree with whatever the NSA thinks.


In light of recent revelations, "all foreign persons" seems unreasonably optimistic. To the NSA, every living human is either a known enemy or a potential enemy, and either way must be watched closely.


Our enemies are "the terrorists".

Fortunately for those in power, that term has a malleability that would make silly putty jealous.


Just how long can 35000 people keep a secret?


Change the question: What percentage of 35,000 cryptographers are willing to give up their jobs, families, homes, friends, lovers, and children to stand up for their ideals regarding the ethics behind code breaking.

I find it regrettable that Snowden sought asylum. If he had stayed in the united states, faced trial by jury, and won his freedom, it would have set a precedent for other whistleblowers to follow. His asylum will make whistleblowers think they have to give up everything to expose the government's crimes. The precedent he set is almost as bad as if he had stayed in the united states and been found guilty of capital treason.


>I find it regrettable that Snowden sought asylum. If he had stayed in the united states, faced trial by jury, and won his freedom, it would have set a precedent for other whistleblowers to follow

You mean like Manning?


"I find it regrettable that Snowden sought asylum. If he had stayed in the united states, faced trial by jury, and won his freedom, it would have set a precedent for other whistleblowers to follow."

The chance of that happening was never one jot above zero.




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