Questionable logic ?

Michael R. McClelland (
Sun, 11 May 1997 23:14:32 -0500

I don't study crypto so just humor me OK? If two people plan to communicate
using encrypted messages then they both have to know which key to use and
how to use it. I imagine they could use several keys on the same message to
further confuse the contents, and/or switch keys every so often. The weak
point in this seams to be in synchronizing the two parties, which means
there has to be a code book which is given out to whoever is going to be
communicating. In the case of computer-crypto the algorithm is part of a
program on all the systems involved. When transmitting this critical
information about future use of keys, which encryption method should one
use? Are we back to armed couriers handcuffed to booby-trapped briefcases?
In the end I fear that we will not be anymore secure than we have ever been
because it only takes one unhappy insider to sell the codebook for $(name
your price). Maybe I've seen too many 007 movies, but if the stakes are
high enough, nothing is safe.
BTW - Could someone explain to me how my 128bit version of Internet
Explorer knows which key to use or does it only use one? Point me to an FAQ
or something. Thanks,
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