Backdoor Disasters

Last week I explained why government-imposed backdoors cause more problems than they solve, and government-imposed weaknesses from the 1990s are still causing SSL/TLS security problems. Let’s see some of the other ways backdoors have spectacularly failed. This is nothing new The problem of insider abuse goes back to an era when letters and telegrams were […]
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What Could Possibly Go Wrong With Backdoors?

What could possibly go wrong with back doors? Pretty much everything imaginable. You must have seen about the debate between the FBI and Apple over providing a backdoor for the Apple iPhone 5C model. I strongly agree with Michael Hayden, former head of both the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency. In an […]
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Cryptography Developments: Elliptic Curves, Part 2

Last week I started telling you about an recent interesting paper, “A Riddle Wrapped in an Enigma” by two highly respected cryptographers, Neal Koblitz and Alfred Menezes. I gave you the background last week: the NSA’s long interest in ECC (or Elliptic Curve Cryptography), some reports of NSA back doors inserted into standardized algorithms, and […]
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Cryptography Developments: Elliptic Curves

I recently wrote about the NSA’s surprising announcement in August. They urged the community to work on post-quantum cryptography. More surprisingly, they also recommended that organizations that have not yet converted from traditional RSA-based public-key systems to the newer ECC (or Elliptic Curve Cryptography) should not bother doing so. RSA security relies on the difficulty […]
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Keeping Secrets: Select a Cipher

So you want to encrypt your sensitive information to protect its confidentiality. Good! But exactly how should this be done? There are many ciphers (or encryption algorithms) to choose from. Let’s see what choices are available. Splitting the Choices Selecting a cipher is like sharing bread with your friend. Wait. What? Let’s say you want […]
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