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nsa spying encryption big brother

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#1 He's Dead Jim

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 09:59

In room-size metal boxes ­secure against electromagnetic leaks, the National Security Agency is racing to build a computer that could break nearly every kind of encryption used to protect banking, medical, business and government records around the world.

According to documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the effort to build “a cryptologically useful quantum computer” — a machine exponentially faster than classical computers — is part of a $79.7 million research program titled “Penetrating Hard Targets.” Much of the work is hosted under classified contracts at a laboratory in College Park, Md.

 

more here;

 

http://www.washingto...2df2_print.html




#2 XerXis

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Posted 08 January 2014 - 10:16

haha, right, let me know when they build a quantum computer that can do more than an addition under some very controlled circumstances. There is a big difference between dream and reality, certainly if you only have a 79.7 million budget. Sounds like a side project ;).

 

That said, even with a (hypothetical very advanced) quantum computer encryption with a big enough key is unbreakable (unless of course there is some flaw in the encryption method)



#3 PGHammer

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 09:29

haha, right, let me know when they build a quantum computer that can do more than an addition under some very controlled circumstances. There is a big difference between dream and reality, certainly if you only have a 79.7 million budget. Sounds like a side project ;).

 

That said, even with a (hypothetical very advanced) quantum computer encryption with a big enough key is unbreakable (unless of course there is some flaw in the encryption method)

Still, merely creating a 2048-bit key (the largest practical using OpenPGP-compatible cipher methodology) is a chore - even for current-generation desktop CPUs such as Haswell.

 

No cipher is unbreakable - period.  However, you can increase the difficulty to the point that cracking it costs more than it's worth to the cracker (which is the point behind long-key cryptology - by both individuals and governments alike)

Further, note that both quantum cipher-crackage and quantum cryptology (cipher making) are BOTH under study - that actually makes all SORTS of sense, as both fall under NSA's bailiwick.



#4 Aheer.R.S.

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 09:33

Well, they can start with helping people who were victims of that malware who accidentally got hit by that encryption malware that's been floating around for the last 4-6 months



#5 MidnightDevil

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 12:29

Well, they can start with helping people who were victims of that malware who accidentally got hit by that encryption malware that's been floating around for the last 4-6 months

 

LOL! Aren't we naive :D 

I'm still waiting for them to send me a backup of my hard drive when I lost it all :rolleyes:



#6 Enron

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 12:41

Well duh of course they are working on technology to break encryption. If they aren't, they're not doing their jobs.

 

Anyway, I wonder how good this thing would be at mining Bitcoins?



#7 UseLess

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 12:56

Actually quantum computers, while causing problems for cryptography, is not its kryptonite as many people believe. As far as I am aware the frontrunning quantum algorithm is shor's which no one has been able to apply to something like AES (secret key). I do believe there is some other algorithm which is somewhat able to tackle this problem, but I believe it is meant to be really slow to the point that it is not expected to break high key AES or similar.

 

The current weakness is public key stuff (such as DES or elliptic curve). While this is widely used currently I do believe there are some public key alternatives which aren't meant to be weak to shor's yet (ever?). Can't remember what off the top of my head - they're pretty left-field if i remember correctly.

 

So while a fully functional quantum computer would cause some people problems, someone like a bank that, I sure as hell hope, uses something like AES for encryption of stored data, it would not be much of an issue. public key stuff (e.g. HTTPS) would need some certs that were issued using algorithms that weren't vulnerable and used large key lengths, but this again wouldn't be the end of the world for too long.

 

I am no cryptanalyst, so I could be horribly wrong =P



#8 FloatingFatMan

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 13:02

Whoever it was that decided putting the word "quantum" in front of something is going to magically make it even better, is a quantum idiot. :p



#9 Aheer.R.S.

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 13:44

LOL! Aren't we naive :D 
I'm still waiting for them to send me a backup of my hard drive when I lost it all :rolleyes:

Personally I prefer being naive, maybe one day, humankind will live up to my expectations