DailyDirt: Cracking Codes The Old Fashioned Way

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

Government code-cracking projects are usually depicted in movies as super-secret endeavors where brilliant minds create amazing algorithms that are decades ahead of anything else out there. The truth is probably closer to a room full of monkeys typing away randomly, occasionally getting bits of Shakespeare, combined with some average IT folks just collecting as much data as they can from the software backdoors that have been put in place in the most commonly-used applications. (So much for Area 51 conspiracy theorists and their ilk.) Brute force methods might be the best we can do, and here are just a few links related to breaking some encryption schemes. If you'd like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.
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Filed Under: algorithms, backdoor, encryption, factoring, math, np complete, quantum computing
Companies: nsa, rsa


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Jan 2014 @ 6:30pm

    With Snowden?

    I would be surprised if they had hidden polynomial factoring. That kind of insight would be very insightful to computer science that only a short-sighted idiot would be keeping it secret to break cryptography they are already working so hard to compromise.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Peter Wakefield Sault, 16 Jan 2014 @ 3:53am

    NSA Lies

    The NSA is bluffing in the hope that cryptographers will despair and Al Qaboom (up the road at Langley VA) will cease encrypting it's pizza orders. All that is required to get past the NSA's "quantum computers" is SINGLE KEY ENCRYPTION.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 16 Jan 2014 @ 11:48am

      Re: NSA Lies

      That's an overgeneralization. There are a lot of ways to do single key encryption, and most of them are crackable. Even the ones that are theoretically unbreakable have the significant weaknesses of requiring a key to be transmitted through some other mechanism before it can be used, and that you can trust the people who have the keys (all of the people you're talking with) to keep them secure.

      Single key encryption is worthless if you want to communicate with people you haven't prearranged a channel with (goodbye, secure e-commerce) or that you can't trust to be sufficiently concerned with security (goodbye, almost everyone else).

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Peter Wakefield Sault, 16 Jan 2014 @ 4:04am

    Enigma

    I do not believe that the British Government ever cracked the Enigma code. I believe they used Enigma as an excuse to allow the destruction of Coventry by German bombers, needed because the British people were losing interest in Churchill's war for Jewish bankers and Scottish Freemasons.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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