N.S.A. Cracks Most Encryption Methods

By: zapionics<alt>
September 7th, 2013
5:18 pm

N.S.A. Cracks Most Encryption Methods

The National SecurityAgency is winning its long-running secret war on encryption, using supercomputers, technical trickery, court orders and behind-the-scenes persuasion to undermine the major tools protecting the privacy of everyday communications in the Internet age, according to newly disclosed documents...

Story here

I'm not sure whether i should be concerned or not about this.
On one hand we have to weigh up the imperative to monitor known criminal and terrorist communications and on the other the privacy of the individual.

Personally i see a great deal of risk for fraud and identity theft and i have to ask who watches the watchers? The whole purpose of encryption is to minimise those risks and to provide secure communications. Many large companies have security policies in place using well known private encryption formats. If an elite few can bypass the controls and correlate such information then there would be a big temptation to mis-use the information.

One solution is to forego proprietary encryption tools for open source products. At least the community continuously monitors the code for any back doors.
It just seems to me that with this news the standard vendor tools that we all use to encrypt our data and messages are now all compromised and broken.

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8 comments on "N.S.A. Cracks Most Encryption Methods"

  • Falklan
    September 7, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    Originally Posted by zapionics<alt>
    I'm not sure whether i should be concerned or not about this.
    On one hand we have to weigh up the imperative to monitor known criminal and terrorist communications and on the other the privacy of the individual.
    This is nothing more than a perpetrated scam to install a shadow government. The Patriot act was the creation of this shadow government... Accountable to NO ONE!

    Originally Posted by zapionics<alt>
    Personally i see a great deal of risk for fraud and identity theft and i have to ask who watches the watchers?
    There are NONE!

    I have so much to say about this coup de ta...

  • JimTram
    September 7, 2013 at 5:57 pm

    As long as politicians control the flow of $ to the agencies, they will corrupt it. Preservation of their positions and power is of paramount concern.

  • Sandog
    September 10, 2013 at 2:55 am

    I had a deep thought, computers will rule one day. Why? Because computers controlling machines will take the human 100% out of the loop. If you let computers directly handle data encryption or whatever and not humans you will not have corruption\error. Humans will just make sure the machines run. Computers will run machines that do everything from banking to transportation. You will no longer have a pilot flying into a building because he wants to take himself and you out. Computer controlled machines are more efficient, something that will be necessary in the future with dwindling resources. One day, you will not even touch oil any longer.

  • GWillakers
    September 10, 2013 at 11:39 am

    Originally Posted by Sandog
    I had a deep thought, computers will rule one day. Why? Because computers controlling machines will take the human 100% out of the loop. If you let computers directly handle data encryption or whatever and not humans you will not have corruption\error. Humans will just make sure the machines run. Computers will run machines that do everything from banking to transportation. You will no longer have a pilot flying into a building because he wants to take himself and you out. Computer controlled machines are more efficient, something that will be necessary in the future with dwindling resources. One day, you will not even touch oil any longer.
    This will only occur in a world where technological advances come to an end. For as long as there is progress, there will be new standards to facilitate that progress. And as soon as there are new standards, whatever is old is quasi "broken".

    The Day the Networks stopped Anolog transmission, for the new Advanced Digital standards, all your old TV's were somewhat broken.

    Consider this paradox:
    Intel and AMD keep building processors that will respond to "New" type of instructions. You know the deal (MMX, SSE, EM64T, VT-X, yada yada...) These instructions are specifically designed to speed up some specialized process.

    But game designers are hesitant to incorporate those instructions within their code. Why? Because as soon as you incorporate a new instruction type you break all the existing computers who have processors that don't support that particular instruction.

    Using the new advanced instructions, means they will have to raise the minimum hardware configuration they list on the outside of their box. This limits the possible audience who could run their software.

    The naysayers are already grumbling..."Well write execution paths for both!"
    They would, if feasable. But look at the headache we have with 32-bit and 64 bit drivers. They both do the same thing. It is just one uses instructions that can get at memory which resides in an address greater than 4 billion!

    I think what you are really looking forward to is a day when machines can truly think for themselves. While it is possible to fool a person into thinking that a computer can make human like decisions. I don't think they will ever obtain a "Free Will" of their own.

    I believe a Free Will is a gift from God.

    I find it somewhat ironic that we often go to great lengths to deny people their God given gift, and seek to entrust it to machines.

    One more humorous thought:

    If we ever get to the day where Machines do have Free Will, I see a day where my processor offloads some work to my graphics card. My GpU responds by getting Hot, and organizes a couple hundred CUDA cores to a generalized strike.

  • JimTram
    September 10, 2013 at 11:56 am

    Yep, could be. It'll all work swell till MS does an update!

    Originally Posted by Sandog
    I had a deep thought, computers will rule one day. Why? Because computers controlling machines will take the human 100% out of the loop. If you let computers directly handle data encryption or whatever and not humans you will not have corruption\error. Humans will just make sure the machines run. Computers will run machines that do everything from banking to transportation. You will no longer have a pilot flying into a building because he wants to take himself and you out. Computer controlled machines are more efficient, something that will be necessary in the future with dwindling resources. One day, you will not even touch oil any longer.

  • XJ.
    September 10, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    All this and the massive UTAH facility isn't online yet (AFAIK).

  • Falklan
    September 10, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    Originally Posted by GWillakers
    One more humorous thought:

    If we ever get to the day where Machines do have Free Will, I see a day where my processor offloads some work to my graphics card. My GpU responds by getting Hot, and organizes a couple hundred CUDA cores to a generalized strike.
    LMFAO that's just too good right there!

    Originally Posted by GWillakers
    I believe a Free Will is a gift from God.

    I find it somewhat ironic that we often go to great lengths to deny people their God given gift, and seek to entrust it to machines.
    I have a somewhat different opinion of that, but a simple edit would relay my point of view.

    Change the word machine to humans.

  • zapionics<alt>
    February 23, 2014 at 1:08 pm

    Ah, now we know how they did this.



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