Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Real Threat

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  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    luckily the crypto cat is out of the bag and we can all find our own secret large primes.

    I was thinking about this the other night, about encryption and cyphers.
    The simplest form of encryption could be considered is assigning a number to the letters of the alphabet, like A= 1 B= 2.. Then you have a ROT code like ROT 13 where M=1 N= 2 etc. These are easily broken.
    Using a private key makes this harder. A simple form of this is to use a book known to both parties then assigning numbers to reference page, line and word. ie.
    Well any way, perhaps we should all start using code...That'll fuck 'em. ;-)

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Aidan,

    Tbbq vqrn!

    Jung pbhyq cbffvoyl tb jebat?

    Canberra, Australia • Since Feb 2007 • 154 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Aidan,

    Jrypbzr gb Jrfgjbeyq, vaqrrq!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7944 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    Gb or rkgen fnsr, V'z tbvat gb rapelcg guvatf gjvpr.


    See, now extra secure.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    A simple form of this is to use a book known to both parties then assigning numbers to reference page, line and word.

    Don't trust that to be secure! If you must DIY your cryptography, at least generate your own random keys!

    Well any way, perhaps we should all start using code…That’ll fuck ’em. ;-)

    I was thinking that even more difficult would be if we just starting sending random dummy data around all the time, pure random, bulk data. Endless resources could be wasted cracking something that has no solutions at all. Or perhaps encrypt pictures of kittens. Lots of really big pictures with keys just long enough that they could be cracked by wasting a few hours of some computer's time out there.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Aidan,

    KITTEH-CRYPT!

    Canberra, Australia • Since Feb 2007 • 154 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Aidan,

    I think it would be a nice form of protest, too, might lighten up the day of the agents dedicated to looking for terrorists, to see more kitties.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Actually I've just realized this a terrible idea. There's a small but catastrophic chance that kittens might end up being considered terrorists, and Gareth Morgan would get his evil way.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to BenWilson,

    Actually I’ve just realized this a terrible idea.

    aha! the classic paws for thought...
    ;- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7944 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    There’s a small but catastrophic chance that kittens might end up being

    Funny you should say that... Murder is on the cards

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1890 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to BenWilson,

    Or perhaps encrypt pictures of kittens. Lots of really big pictures with keys just long enough that they could be cracked by wasting a few hours of some computer’s time out there.

    Steganography, with junk data! I think I have a new hobby ;-)

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2933 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    What a curious article. On the one hand:

    Major international syndicates all appear on the top 20 criminal target lists of Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Britain and Canada. “The results were telling,” Clare said. “We are all targeting the same people.”

    Well, what a hairy surprise, not. It seems that it never occurred to the economic geniuses that, when you encourage globalisation and a global economy, it affects every part of global existence including crime.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2933 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to nzlemming,

    Well, what a hairy surprise, not. It seems that it never occurred to the economic geniuses that, when you encourage globalisation and a global economy, it affects every part of global existence including crime.

    Have a read of Micha Glenny's 'McMafia' book sometime if you want exactly this in detail, and mountains of it. But make sure you're in reasonable psychic health and have a stiff drink to hand to deal with the consequences. It's extremely depressing to think about too much.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood,

    The latest NSA from The Gaurdian
    I assume the New Zealand server is misplaced a little, unless it really is in Queenstown.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1445 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to andin,

    Murder is on the cards

    Stone the crows!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7944 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason, in reply to BenWilson,

    Or perhaps encrypt pictures of kittens.

    A Kitty Letter.....

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell, in reply to David Hood,

    The latest NSA from The Gaurdian I assume the New Zealand server is misplaced a little, unless it really is in Queenstown.

    More important is the claim that they are basically recording all TCP sessions, recognising the SMTP (email) ones, reassembling the packets into emails and storing them indexed into a database by email address so that they can troll through them later. The same happens for web accesses.

    I suspect the red spot tagged as being in NZ is really sitting on NZ in general and implies that theres some peering spot somewhere (or some spots) where they have this equipment installed (like the prism in the fibre in the AT&T exchange in SF).

    Maybe the real reason why we have such limited bandwidth to the rest of the world is because the GCSB back channel to the NSA database is using of the same order of magnitude of bandwidth as the rest of us.

    You can see now why they're so paranoid about Huawei equipment appearing in country backbones - not only are they worried about competition in the spying biz but they're also worried that their own spying would be compromised.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    ...not only are they worried about competition in the spying biz but they’re also worried that their own spying would be compromised.

    I can picture a scenario where the bulk of the traffic might be multiple bulk feeds, of the same data, through various government agencies and other corporations legal and concealed 'back-doors'.
    Balanced out by cat pictures, and porn traffic, of course...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7944 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    theres some peering spot somewhere (or some spots) where they have this equipment installed

    Whenuapai is probably a good bet.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1590 posts Report Reply

  • Amanda Wreckonwith,

    Just an idea...
    Could an app be developed that inserts random 'incriminating' phrases into ALL our emails/tweets/facebook posts? If every concerned citizen were to do this, it would not take long before EVERY internet user would be implicated in the "war on terrorism"
    Would this 'gum up' the Utah facility and make it redundant?

    Since Sep 2012 • 171 posts Report Reply

  • Gary Young, in reply to Amanda Wreckonwith,

    Interesting notion. It recalls an old Star Trek episode where two opposing nations fight a 'virtual' war, firing 'virtual' missiles at one another using giant computer simulations.

    Our bold Cap. Kirk puts a stop to this by hitting the Big Red Button; detonating all the missiles at once and 'killing' everyone on the planet. Thus demonstrating the essential futility and foolishness of the entire exercise.

    When, as a result of our internet activity, we are all implicated as potential subversives, who then will the 'War on Terror' be directed against?

    Glenfield • Since Jun 2013 • 39 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Amanda Wreckonwith,

    Echelon bait. Comes into fashion every few years,

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Tim Michie,

    Um, would that be A Taste of Armageddon when

    the crew of the USS Enterprise visits a planet whose people fight a computer simulated war with a neighboring enemy planet. The crew finds that although the war is fought via computer simulation, the citizens of each planet have to submit to real executions inside "disintegration booths" based on the results of simulated attacks

    and

    as the Enterprise breaks orbit, Fox

    [not that Fox]

    reports that the peace negotiations are going relatively well

    ? I miss #tzemingmok and #startrekknowledge

    Auckward • Since Nov 2006 • 614 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Peter Graham,

    Oddly, when I connect to https://publicaddress.net it tries to use a certificate for www.simpsongrierson.com and then redirects to http://publicaddress.net.

    I don't think anyone has explained why this is happening, so here goes:
    It's very common for web hosting to share multiple sites from a single IP address, what's called "name-based hosting". Ordinary HTTP is quite happy to share an IP address because requests specify the name of the site.
    HTTPS can coexist on an IP address with HTTP, even with multiple other sites, but there can only be a single SSL certificate (which is tied to a particular domain name) for a given IP address. So when you tried to go to https://publicaddress.net you got sent to the IP address shared by both publicaddress.net and simpsongrierson.com, and because there can only be the one SSL certificate you got presented the one for SG. Since that wasn't the site you requested, however, you then got redirected to the site you actually wanted- http://publicaddress.net

    As Kirk observes, getting SSL hosting means getting a non-shared IP address, and that frequently costs. The bigger cost, though, is getting the SSL certificate.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    It’s very common for web hosting to share multiple sites from a single IP address, what’s called “name-based hosting”

    Which seems to get a few perfectly harmonious sites blocked in China because they share hosting with something the lads in Zhongnanhai would rather we aren't allowed to see, just in case anybody visits China then discovers their perfectly innocuous, totally apolitical site is unavailable. #collateraldamage

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

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