An Introduction: Using CrypTool to Show How Ciphers Work

In Learning Tree’s System and Network Security Introduction, we use a tool called CrypTool. It is a fun tool for illustrating the operation of ciphers, hashes, digital signatures and the like. This week, I’ll start with a demonstration of some basic encrypting and decrypting and in the future, I’ll discuss other features. In the examples […]
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Skeptical Looks at Cryptography

We cannot have cyber security without cryptography! Confidentiality requires encryption of the sensitive data. Integrity is important, hash functions let us detect inappropriate modification of data and system configurations. Authentication of users and hosts can be done in many ways, and the more secure methods involve hash functions, encryption, or some combination of the two. […]
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Encrypting with vim

Last week I suggested that application-specific encryption can solve some data confidentiality problems better than a sweeping approach like whole-disk encryption. One thing you learn in Learning Tree’s Linux introduction course, or the Linux server administration course that follows it, or the optimization and troubleshooting course or another follow-up, is that you are never done […]
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File System Encryption: When Is It Worthwhile?

Encryption is used to protect confidentiality. But what role should it play within your operating systems for protecting file systems? The answer often is, “it depends.” Physical Theft A laptop or detachable media such as USB-connected external disks and thumbdrives could easily be stolen or lost. Especially with smaller objects, you may not know which […]
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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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