A backdoor in a cryptosystem or algorithm allows someone to obtain access to the decrypted data, without the need for the key/password that was used to encrypt the data.

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64
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3answers
20k views

Should we trust the NIST-recommended ECC parameters?

Recent articles in the media, based upon Snowden documents, have suggested that the NSA has actively tried to enable surveillance by embedding weaknesses in commercially-deployed technology -- ...
53
votes
5answers
27k views

Technical feasibility of decrypting https by replacing the computer's PRNG

Intel has an on-chip RdRand function which supposedly bypasses the normally used entropy pool for /dev/urandom and directly injects output. Now rumors are going on that Intel works together with the ...
34
votes
6answers
13k views

Who uses Dual_EC_DRBG?

Recent news articles have suggested that the NSA may be involved in trying to influence the cryptography in public standards or commercially deployed software, to enable the NSA to decrypt the ...
27
votes
1answer
24k views

Explaining weakness of Dual EC DRBG to wider audience?

I have an audience of senior (non-technical) executives and senior technical people who are taking the backdoor in Dual_EC_DRBG and considering it as a weakness of Elliptic curves in general. I can ...
15
votes
1answer
845 views

What NIST protocol was allegedly backdoored by NSA in 2006?

From a recent NY Times article: Cryptographers have long suspected that the agency planted vulnerabilities in a standard adopted in 2006 by the National Institute of Standards and Technology ...
11
votes
4answers
606 views

Could one construct a cipher that is secure for friendly parties to use but insecure for hostile parties?

Consider the situation of a nation state (Blue) at war with another nation state (Red). Blue wants to deploy a secure cipher that blue currently can not break, but they are considered that Red could ...
10
votes
3answers
605 views

What is the best way to put a backdoor in an encryption system?

How can you put a backdoor into an encryption algorithm? Are there any techniques that can be used to reduce the time it takes to break a key? I am looking for practical examples encryption schemes ...
6
votes
1answer
247 views

What exactly could be accomplished with a backdoor in Dual_EC_DRBG?

Assume that some entity really holds the private key corresponding to the recommended/dubious constants of Dual_EC_DRBG. According to this presentation, they would be able to reconstruct the internal ...
5
votes
2answers
594 views

Is there a feasible method by which NIST ECC curves over prime fields could be intentionally rigged?

The NIST elliptic curves P-192, P-224, P-256, P-384, and P-521, prescribed in FIPS 186-4 appendix D.1.2, are generated according to a well defined process, but using an arbitrary random-looking seed ...
4
votes
2answers
190 views

Do test vectors ensure a cipher is free of backdoors?

If a cipher implementation passes unit tests using test vectors from some trusted source (these for AES, for example), then can we say that it is fully conforming to the specification, and must have ...
4
votes
1answer
158 views

How does a backdoor in the RNG enable an attacker to break encryption protocols?

I'm wondering how a backdoor in a random-number generator (as rumored the NSA have placed), actually compromises the security of things like VPNs or TSL/SSL. What I understand is that, if such a ...
3
votes
1answer
170 views

When is an asymmetric scheme considered broken?

Does the following quote imply that valid encrypted data can be created and decrypted by someone other than the owner of a private key: An asymmetric encryption scheme is considered to be broken ...
3
votes
1answer
351 views

Hide a weakness in ECC by choosing the prime or one of the curve coefficients

Suppose you are given a value $c$. Can you find a prime $p$ and an integer $b$ such that the elliptic curve $$E: y^2 \equiv x^3 -3x + b \pmod p$$ is cryptographically weak? You need to choose ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Who uses the RSA BSAFE library?

Who uses RSA's BSAFE library? Does anyone know what products use it, or have any statistics on how many end users use something that is built on BSAFE? Background: BSAFE is one of the oldest ...
2
votes
1answer
80 views

/dev/random only needed for key generation / CPU pattern encryption

Consider the following scenarios: using OpenSSL to encrypt a file with Rijndael-256 using LUKS to encrypt a hard-drive that is used every day Exactly when is entropy from ...
1
vote
2answers
104 views

What can a master password also be called?

When having a company computer that is full disk encrypted, it is common that the boss have a master password / backdoor, so the data always can be decrypted. I have heard some call this for "scrow" ...