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What would you do?: Assume all Public Key Exchange models in use failed overnight.

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  • #16
    Re: What would you do?: Assume all Public Key Exchange models in use failed overnight

    Originally posted by xor View Post
    A better question to ask would be what would happen if an EMP device were detonated over the US.
    This wouldn't lead to wide-spread loss of electronic devices, and data.

    Using formula from Physics, you can compute the effective force and field strength of a magnetic field given a distance in addition to strength. Like Gravity, the force of field strength relies on the strength of a charge, but the distance is much more important, since the distance is an inverse square applied to any change in charge/field.

    So, double the charge, and double the distance, you halve the effective strength to the new distance. Because of this, the effective radius for any EMP bomb is very limited, and addition of more "power" to generate a strong field faces diminishing returns.

    A single bomb over the US would not be enough-- even if the power source was nuclear. Many, many EMP would be needed, and then you would have to consider additional power requirements to push the EMI through shielded spaces, and underground storage systems.

    Even without an attack a solar flare from the sun directed at the planet could be absolutely catastrophic. In fact it has already happened in the past and will happen again.
    This is a risk too. Maybe a topic for another thread on catastrophic failures like doomsday scenarios.

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    • #17
      Re: What would you do?: Assume all Public Key Exchange models in use failed overnight

      Originally posted by renderman View Post
      I assume this topic came about because of the recent announcement of 2 separate groups both making leaps in quantum computing...
      .
      I asked Bruce Schneier(sorry don't mean to name drop) this very question at the QA at DEFCON. I'm paraphrasing my question, did he think that technology specifically Moores Law would render crypto moot. His respond also paraphrasing here was that the math is on the side of the cryptographer, and as technology increases it increases for the cryptographer as well. He also stated to not go after the crypto but to attack the implementation. His analogy being the encryption was like a stake in the ground, why run into the stake when you can go around it.

      Just MHO, that perhaps for a short term period the attacker may have a slight edge, but it would be short lived at best.

      thx-1138
      Last edited by xor; September 16, 2007, 14:57.
      Just because you can doesn't mean you should. This applies to making babies, hacking, and youtube videos.

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      • #18
        Re: What would you do?: Assume all Public Key Exchange models in use failed overnight

        My interpretation of the question revolved around the idea that one morning someone announces "We have a box that can break all common PKI based crypto" ala "Sneakers"

        While not necessarily breaking the functions currently in place (money could still be transfered, cryptomail sent) but suddenly the mass assumption that it can't be broken in a reasonable time being crushed.

        This is what I would fear more than any attack or sudden catastrophic event. Because a real failure of any system can be fixed. A wire breaks, you replace it. A server fails, you switch to the backup. The backup fails, you pray to spongebob.

        The bits, bytes, metal, plastic, silicon, and even math that make up such 'secure' systems are built upon the basis of something much smaller and intangible; TRUST

        If such a box or decryption system suddenly hit the world, that trust is broken. If that trust is broken, you cannot be reasonably sure that the incoming bank withdrawal request is real. You cannot trust the orders coming from higher up in command. Your not going to take the risk if that trust is broken.

        Terrorism, asteroids, global warming, nuclear proliferation. These don't scare me. What does scare me is natural human reactions to fundamental changes in their base psychology. Things like alien life being proven. Religious nuts in general being proven wrong and then attempting to 'make it right'. Humans don't do well with change. To suddenly pull a rug out from a high level of trust (i.e. banking, chain of command) usually doesn't end well
        Never drink anything larger than your head!





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        • #19
          Re: What would you do?: Assume all Public Key Exchange models in use failed overnight

          Originally posted by renderman View Post

          This is what I would fear more than any attack or sudden catastrophic event. Because a real failure of any system can be fixed. A wire breaks, you replace it. A server fails, you switch to the backup. The backup fails, you pray to spongebob.
          So does that mean that SpongeBob is the one true god. ROFL

          xor
          Just because you can doesn't mean you should. This applies to making babies, hacking, and youtube videos.

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          • #20
            Re: What would you do?: Assume all Public Key Exchange models in use failed overnight

            Originally posted by astcell View Post
            I'm old enough to remember when credit cards not only had no magnetic strip, but the numbers on the cards were TYPED on it, not raised. Yes the world got along fine with couriers, registered mail, pencil and paper. More F2F meets and having to fly to another continent just to utter 5 words. Yup that was my world growing up.
            I agree with astcell, what once was old tradecraft will be new again, I can very well see using USB dead drops that look like rocks, innocuous looking IR square taped on a mailbox when there's something new to communicate about, pre-timed F2F meets in a campus library, or any other well trafficked area. More use of one time pads and something a little more rocking than the Lincolnshire Poacher being broadcast on the Internet.

            I'd keep listing suggestions, but the best ones are sitting in my WTSHTF plan.
            Nonnumquam cupido magnas partes Interretis vincendi me corripit

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            • #21
              Re: What would you do?: Assume all Public Key Exchange models in use failed overnight

              Originally posted by renderman View Post
              ... Humans don't do well with change. ...
              According to most people, 'change' is something you keep in your pocket.
              Thorn
              "If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning." - Catherine Aird

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              • #22
                Re: What would you do?: Assume all Public Key Exchange models in use failed overnight

                Fax
                Telephone
                Pen & paper
                snail mail
                DaKahuna
                ___________________
                Will Hack for Bandwidth

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