Re: Truth and Hype

Christopher Bibbs (chrisbib@umd.umich.edu)
Tue, 17 Jun 1997 14:03:21 -0400 (EDT)


I agree with most of what was said here but...

> Obviously:
...
> - The government already understands the weaknesses of DES
> and this effort isn't going to show them anything that the NSA
> already hasn't.

Which branch of the government? I'm sure NSA and other government organizations
are quite aware of the problems with DES, but do you think Joe Congressman
really understands? Neither cryptography nor computer science is a prerequisite
to political office and I'm fairly certain that many of them are only aware of
these fields as far as the nightly news covers it. Meaning that by holding
this sort of contest (and getting it in the news) is probably educating at least
a few law makers.

> Not so obvious or possibly wrong:
> - DESCHALL is NOT showing that Internet-wide cooperation
> is possible for criminal activity. For example, messages such
> as electronic wire transfers are secure because the criminals
> need to decrypt, modify, encrypt the new message
> and send it only microseconds after they catch it if they want
> to re-route the money.

Depends on what type of criminal activity you want to perform. Industrial
epionage seems like a better (worse?) application of the power that we've
been able to wield.

> P.S.
> Don't bite my head off if you disagree with my opinions or if
> I made some factual errors.

But it looks so tasty.

-- 
Christopher Bibbs  |  "Do not disrupt my carefully controlled pattern of hype or
chrisbib@umich.edu |   YOU WILL BE PUT IN A BOX WITH BILL GATES AND SHAKEN."
Lear IT Center     |     -- Kibo