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2001 Dec 30 17:01

The following is an archive of a post made to our 'vox-tech mailing list' by one of its subscribers.

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Re: [vox-tech] ssh/telnet security question
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Re: [vox-tech] ssh/telnet security question



On Tue, Feb 06, 2001 at 09:15:12PM -0800, Peter Jay Salzman wrote:
> > Does > it decrypt SSH/SSL packets or sniff packets from
> > behind a firewall?
> 
> this is the NSA we're talking about.  the great puzzle palace.  the same
> people who helped bring you operation mkultra (mind control), haarp
> (weather/atmosphere control) and tempest technology (eavesdropping on a
> monitor by listening to the RF waves emitted by the CRT tube).
> 

Note that mkultra and haarp are not so successful that they have
achieved a high degree of control in either case.

The NSA has no capability to decrypt carefully encrypted packets with
a sufficiently large key (I usually use 1024-bit keys, which is
plenty.  Use a  2048-bit key, and you rock).  Even if the whole world
were to gang up just to decrypt one such key, the computing power does
not exist to do this within several hundred-thousand lifetimes.

That said, the key phrase is "carefully encrypted" - any poor
encryption practices that are used work against you, and the NSA can
readily exploit a variety of flaws.  The biggest flaw that comes to
mind is an unsufficiently random pseudorandom-number generator.  This
is why the truly paranoid will use the natural entropy around them to
feed the generation, in an attempt to create truly random numbers.

Of course, the capability of listening to your monitor is something
they /can/ do, which will render all of this moot.  They won't usually
resort to that, however, as it is far easier to detect keystrokes.

Micah


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