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NSA Crypto Breakthrough Bamford [was: WhatsApp keying...]

On 4/29/16, Ray Dillinger <[email protected]> wrote:
> On 04/28/2016 05:41 PM, grarpamp wrote:
>> On 4/28/16, david wong <[email protected]> wrote:
>>> so as long as we don't discover a crazy breakthrough.
>> This "breakthrough" hasn't yet been further identified / described...
>> https://www.wired.com/2012/03/ff_nsadatacenter
> I keep hearing rumors about this "breakthrough." I don't
> know how seriously to take them, but I suspect that if it
> exists it's more likely to be deliberate sabotage at the
> hardware/software/firmware level than it is to be the
> often-implicated Quantum Supercomputer or major mathematical
> insight.

> But I keep hearing noises about a fundamental breakthrough
> in cryptology, with the strong implication that it's some
> kind of new cryptanalytic technique, mathematical insight,
> or design principle for special-purpose custom hardware.

If you actually read and reassemble all the references in the
article (which I won't do herein), they all refer to a 'cryptanalytic'
breakthrough over modern crypto, further assisted with compute
power, and deployed. That is obviously not just academic powers
of two yielding moot partial solutions over limited rounds.

And not sabotage, exploits, etc. Of course those are widespread,
but they are not part of the 'cryptanalytic breakthrough' subthread
of the article.

> Assuming they can get four orders of magnitude of hardware
> efficiency for purpose-built AES cracking silicon, and back
> it up with scores of billions of dollars per year investment
> in constantly updating overwhelming volumes of this custom
> hardware -- I still don't see anybody cracking AES-128 any
> time soon without either a mathematical insight so profound
> as to be completely unexpected

Maths and crackpots love a nice quiet life with everything taken
care of so they can spend decades working their hard problems
and crazy angles. The NSA provides that, and protects it and its
results as their crown jewels. Do not underestimate it.

> or a fundamentally new
> computing technology like large scale Quantum Computers.

This begins to matter when basic research yields a point where
a secret investment of say $100B or less pays off.


> If the fundamental mathematical breakthrough is real, it's
> very surprising that it hasn't leaked

See crown jewels...

> or been duplicated yet

See Maths...

> but in that case it's only a matter of time before one or the
> other or both occur.

Leaks can occur until time forgotten.
Math occurs randomly.

Snowden did not have access to the crypto compartments.
No leaker seems to have had relavent access to post-WWII
modern crypto.

> Speculating about the effect of a
> fundamental mathematical breakthrough is at best hard to do
> meaningfully

Those subject to the dark must speculate, those with knowledge
of it can execute.

> Physicists:
> "A large-scale quantum supercomputer is very doubtful."
> Mathematicians:
> "A mathematical insight of such magnitude is very doubtful."

Wagering against physics is one thing, against the
human mind... that may not be a wise investment.

"...the ability to crack current public encryption."

Some investigative journalist should be all over following up the
crypto part of Bamford's piece as the scoop of a lifetime. For
that matter, where is Bamford's own followup?

Details of such a breakthrough are likely to serve and advance public
knowledge and application by providing solution to some long desirable
hard problem or going off somewhere new that we've never gone before.

Keeping those kind of secrets for yourself is an affront to Humankind.
Till then, everyone, including the keepers, rots in the Dark Ages.