Kalyan Varma

NSA does not need to break crypto

There has been a lot of talk in recent times regarding NSA snooping around and them being able to crack the best crypto in the world. Well, we knew this all along and by using stronger keys one could keep NSA away, but only for a short while. With their computing power, they would mostly likely crack it in no time. They can now crack a 1024 bit key in few hours.

But everyone is still falling into the same trap in securing their systems–making the strongest link stronger–the crypto layer.

NSA actually does what most hackers do, which is to by-pass the security system than to actually break it.

NSA spends more money on people to look into zero day exploits in programs and in operating systems than on cryptography. It is 1000 times easier to break into someone’s windows and mac laptops, install a trojan which can log keystrokes, take screen shots and cache any data going in and out of the system than to break the crypto network link. CIA was able to plant one of these inside a network which was not even connected to the internet! Unfortunately it is easy to secure a channel, but very tough to secure your OS from unknown exploits and through backdoors. Legislation is probably the only way to stop this and this is where we must put our energies and not just in making our crypto layer more secure.

Just sharing my two bits worth of understanding of the system.

2 Responses to “NSA does not need to break crypto”

  1. Prashanth says:

    Hmm…finally some crypto stuff as your journal awakens! Nice note. Thanks. :)

  2. Pallavi says:

    Am glad to see a new entry in your journal after a long long time Kalyan…even though it is a cryptic one :)

    Do keep updating this space a bit often… I am sure there are a lot of people like me who look forward to it!

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