Questions tagged [nsa]

The National Security Agency (NSA) is the central producer and manager of signals intelligence for the United States Government.

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162 votes
4 answers
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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 -- ...
D.W.'s user avatar
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52 votes
6 answers
18k 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 ...
D.W.'s user avatar
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46 votes
7 answers
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How can we reason about the cryptographic capabilities of code-breaking agencies like the NSA or GCHQ?

I have read in Applied Cryptography that the NSA is the largest hardware buyer and the largest mathematician employer in the world. How can we reason about the symmetric ciphers cryptanalysis ...
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39 votes
1 answer
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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 ...
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2 votes
1 answer
910 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 $p,b$...
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10 votes
2 answers
4k views

Does Microsoft use Dual_EC_DRBG by default?

So, as we all know, Dual_EC_DRBG contains an NSA back door. At this point, there is no reason to call it a "potential" or even an "alleged" back door; the presence is obvious even to the NY Times. As ...
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8 votes
1 answer
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What are the relations between cryptanalysis of block ciphers such as AES and Kendall's tau coefficient?

Studying AES on Wikipedia, I noticed a statement regarding some ongoing studies on the use of Kendall's Tau coefficient in cryptanalysis: According to the Snowden documents, the NSA is doing ...
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5 votes
1 answer
236 views

State level "Weak Diffie-Hellman" working for SRP too?

I've read about the "Weak Diffie-Hellman" attack (paper, website), where a resourceful entity like a state can pre-compute values for known primes to aid solving the discrete logarithm ...
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