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post #1 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-07-2006, 10:48 AM Thread Starter
 
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VOIP, P2P, and encryption

Article about VOIP being blocked for all you VOIP users.

http://technology.guardian.co.uk/wee...747343,00.html

This has been happening for some time now. It's also been happening with some peer-to-peer networks and traffic. ISP's not allowing things such as Torrents to go through the line.

My thinking is that it's a bad deal for everyone but the end users. Now I don't know if VOIP can be encrypted to the same level...but what the Torrent Client makers did was simply encrypt the torrents. What this means is that now everything coming in and out and across the web is encrypted.

Good for me...bad for gov't. See there is a certain amount of 'sniffing' that could be deemed useful. For example. If the bit torrent clients don't encrypt anything, then there's not much encryption out there. You've got basic sales info that comes and goes encrypted as well as corporate emails and such. Now if you wanna hunt down the supposed terrorists or enemy's of our state...you don't have to necessarily see what's in an email. Just look and see where encrypted traffic is coming from and where it's going to. By blocking or locking down something like torrent traffic (which is in reality a good portion of all internet traffic), they are now encrypted...now you have this many more trillions of bytes which make the encrypted traffic much more difficult to sift through.

Our technology uses open standards. Which means that it's easy to use and manipulate. It's the reason the internet really took off in the mid 90's. The beauty of it is that there are many ways to do the same thing...just choose which open route you want to take.
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post #2 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-07-2006, 11:02 AM
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I've been on voip for some time now. No problems. Also, wouldn't say bad for the government they can decrypt anything they want and they know who to target.

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post #3 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-07-2006, 11:11 AM Thread Starter
 
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I've been on voip for some time now. No problems. Also, wouldn't say bad for the government they can decrypt anything they want and they know who to target.
No...they can't I think there's a myth that gov't has some secret stuff to break encryption, but that's simply not probable.
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post #4 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-07-2006, 11:55 AM
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not according to the book Digital Fortress (lol fiction but still a good read)

Arent most terrorists talking in public chat rooms using coded messages, just for that reason that the encryption flowing thorough is just too easy to spot.




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post #5 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-07-2006, 11:57 AM
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Originally Posted by BIGGY
No...they can't I think there's a myth that gov't has some secret stuff to break encryption, but that's simply not probable.
It is true that breaking a 256-bit key would take forever... but there is one problem - Humans. most encryption applications protect keys using a password supplied by the user which as we all know, not many people use a good alphanumeric password. Why do you think so many well known hackers..etc get busted and prosecuted?

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post #6 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-07-2006, 12:04 PM
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http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/031...Fencoding=UTF8


maybe fiction but really makes ya wonder about encryption. very good book if you like to read. same author as Divinci Code.




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post #7 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-07-2006, 12:07 PM
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http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/031...Fencoding=UTF8


maybe fiction but really makes ya wonder about encryption. very good book if you like to read. same author as Divinci Code.
I'll wait for the dvd

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post #8 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-07-2006, 12:12 PM Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by HDTony
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/031...Fencoding=UTF8


maybe fiction but really makes ya wonder about encryption. very good book if you like to read. same author as Divinci Code.
Yea I read it as well. Sets in the paranoia that gov't can do it all. But yes, the password is the weak spot. However if you really care and want to make the password unbreakable as well you simply make it longer and alpha-numeric. Smart folks also use a scheme that only allows a certain number of password attempts. Problem solved for the moment.
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post #9 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-07-2006, 12:25 PM
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not according to the book Digital Fortress (lol fiction but still a good read)

Arent most terrorists talking in public chat rooms using coded messages, just for that reason that the encryption flowing thorough is just too easy to spot.
There's plenty of https, ssh, sftp, pgp and tls/ssl applications that are just way too common now. Add to that packets flowing out of order, and via different routes.. Someone's far better off being secure using a 4096 rsa key than anything in the clear Go ahead.. crack it.

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post #10 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-07-2006, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGGY
However if you really care and want to make the password unbreakable as well you simply make it longer and alpha-numeric.
Yes that is key long and random shit




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post #11 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-07-2006, 12:40 PM Thread Starter
 
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Not to mention...if you use something like PGP. There is no password. You must use the other persons public key. You're simply not cracking it any time soon with today's technology. The simple thing is that as technology grows and is able to break encryption faster...it's very simple to make the encryption longer. Once 4096 is broken, you double that, triple it, whatever you want. Let's see how long it takes computers to break codes that have 10,000 to the 10,000th power characters.
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post #12 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-07-2006, 12:43 PM
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Exactly.. Oh gee, 4096 not enough?

ssh-keygen -b 8192 -t rsa

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post #13 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-07-2006, 12:53 PM
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ah, so much incorrect information... OK, first of all, the NSA has the largest supercomputing clusters on earth. Larger than the japanese whole earth simulator and all the others. Period. So anything with a small key can be broken easily by them. They also have people that have been cracking crypto since we were born. So any software that implements the algorithms incorrectly or slightly insecurely can be cracked easily. Not to mention back-room access into every major telco installation in the world.

Now, for the few individuals that are using proven crypto with large keys and difficult passphrases they know they can't outrightly crack it (or at least not fast enough) so they'll go about all sorts of other interesting means (one way I heard of is hiding keystroke loggers in a DVD that was intercepted through USPS) to get acces to the info they need.

So, my belief is... the blocking is a result of the phone companies protecting their telco infrastructure investments. IF, the govt. is involved its because they don't want the added headache of having to recover passphrases because they enjoy the ease of just sniffing cleartext info.

Nothing is unbreakable, nothing is 100% secure. I will take on anyone that wants to argue otherwise...

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post #14 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-07-2006, 12:58 PM
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Arent most terrorists talking in public chat rooms using coded messages, just for that reason that the encryption flowing thorough is just too easy to spot.
Tony - there are two parts to this. There was an article that came out about 2 years ago saying terrorists were using a technique called steganography (the "hiding" of something so you cannot tell it is there, rather than encryption which is "hidden" but proveable as existing) in images on ebay and using that to communicate. A project to scan millions of images with every know stego algo. was done and it produced 1 image that was stego'ed. And that image was on a site discussing stego.

The other half is that when you encrypt most things it pads information segment sizes to equal lengths. so a 10 word message is the same size as a 5, 13, 100 etc... this is called block ciphering. So when you monitor traffic and it is all random lengths and then all of a sudden every packet is equal, you most likely have encryption...

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post #15 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-07-2006, 01:18 PM
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Nothing is unbreakable, nothing is 100% secure. I will take on anyone that wants to argue otherwise...
I agree and disagree. You wouldn't be able to crack a true encryption 256 key using todays technology.

Like I've stated before though you can usually break the user password but If I had encryption running with a password along the lines of say: 2c-J+b}?J~c4W( RF[` >NY?ay ~=25=vlFobM[^gOMUdIK,W#p)t1s ]YxkMF(

You would not be cracking it in this lifetime and that is a guarantee.

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post #16 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-07-2006, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
 
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ah, so much incorrect information... OK, first of all, the NSA has the largest supercomputing clusters on earth. Larger than the japanese whole earth simulator and all the others. Period. So anything with a small key can be broken easily by them. They also have people that have been cracking crypto since we were born. So any software that implements the algorithms incorrectly or slightly insecurely can be cracked easily. Not to mention back-room access into every major telco installation in the world.

Now, for the few individuals that are using proven crypto with large keys and difficult passphrases they know they can't outrightly crack it (or at least not fast enough) so they'll go about all sorts of other interesting means (one way I heard of is hiding keystroke loggers in a DVD that was intercepted through USPS) to get acces to the info they need.

So, my belief is... the blocking is a result of the phone companies protecting their telco infrastructure investments. IF, the govt. is involved its because they don't want the added headache of having to recover passphrases because they enjoy the ease of just sniffing cleartext info.

Nothing is unbreakable, nothing is 100% secure. I will take on anyone that wants to argue otherwise...
True, weak crypto can be broken. However that's generally exposed and then is either corrected or people just don't use it. Most people, unless creating their own form of cryptography...use what's proven. And these figures which tell us that it's not possible to crack the hash in any reasonable amount of time, take into account that it's going to be a massive network of computers working on it. The beauty of it is that it's all math and you can calculate exactly how long it will take with however many processors. There's absolutely no secret about what the gov't can or can't do with our encrypted software. The secret is how long it will take them...we do not know exactly how many systems do what...but these guys who work in the crypto field can figure numbers and what it would take a mega node to do the work.
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post #17 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-07-2006, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
 
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I agree and disagree. You wouldn't be able to crack a true encryption 256 key using todays technology.

Like I've stated before though you can usually break the user password but If I had encryption running with a password along the lines of say: 2c-J+b}?J~c4W( RF[` >NY?ay ~=25=vlFobM[^gOMUdIK,W#p)t1s ]YxkMF(

You would not be cracking it in this lifetime and that is a guarantee.
Like I said before...this is also assuming you're using a password. When we want to exchange information through something like email...we swap public keys. No worry about weak passwords.
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post #18 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-07-2006, 01:29 PM
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post #19 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-07-2006, 01:30 PM
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Cracking, no... eventually (and this is the premise of cryptography) the length of time it would take to exhaust the keyspace is larger than the time the universe has been in existence.

In those instances however, the message will not be what is targeted. The machine, the person, the software implementation will be...

Perfect example. I audited a software package recently that uses openssl with pre-shared keys to secure their own proprietary protocol. However, lots of those implementations trust the certificate signing authority *even if it is self-signed*. It is like saying "you have something that looks exactly like the key to my padlock, so you therefore must have the correct key" In this case I just created my own key and was able to communicate with the server in an encrypted session. Once I did that there was no other access controls in place..

Another example, any software that uses pre-shared keys... if you can get the key from the compiled software (fairly easy) you can decrypt *ANY COMMUNICATION* using that software because the keys are not unique.. Very common once again...

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post #20 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-07-2006, 01:37 PM
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Anyone who puts a key into a binary that can be obtained with a `strings` command deserved to get popped.

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post #21 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-07-2006, 01:38 PM
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it happens all the time...

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post #22 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-07-2006, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midnitrcr
Cracking, no... eventually (and this is the premise of cryptography) the length of time it would take to exhaust the keyspace is larger than the time the universe has been in existence.

In those instances however, the message will not be what is targeted. The machine, the person, the software implementation will be...

Perfect example. I audited a software package recently that uses openssl with pre-shared keys to secure their own proprietary protocol. However, lots of those implementations trust the certificate signing authority *even if it is self-signed*. It is like saying "you have something that looks exactly like the key to my padlock, so you therefore must have the correct key" In this case I just created my own key and was able to communicate with the server in an encrypted session. Once I did that there was no other access controls in place..

Another example, any software that uses pre-shared keys... if you can get the key from the compiled software (fairly easy) you can decrypt *ANY COMMUNICATION* using that software because the keys are not unique.. Very common once again...
True, but those are also examples using accessible hardware/software. I agree with Biggy.

But if we talk live data captured packets using encryption with 256 keys with strong passwords. I totally agree with biggy - You would NEVER be able to decrypt it. It would be 100% secure.

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post #23 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-07-2006, 01:42 PM
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What do you mean by "accessible hardware"?

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post #25 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-07-2006, 01:46 PM
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What do you mean by "accessible hardware"?
The examples you used were you directly working on the machine.. you had access to the hardware/software. Not captured data packets.

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post #26 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-07-2006, 02:02 PM
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The examples you used were you directly working on the machine.. you had access to the hardware/software. Not captured data packets.
No, they didn't... they had access to either A) the endpoint the individual was talking to (in the case of incorrect certificate verification) or B) *any* instance of the software running on any machine... (in the case of shared keys)

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post #27 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-07-2006, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
 
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Here's the simple truth of the matter...what midnitrcr says is correct to a point. But it's quite simple and I'll blanket it with a general/possibly naive statement.

'If you told me that I must transmit information from point A to point B using digital technology, then I have confidence that I can send a message that the government will not be able to crack.'

No doubt there's lot's of shitty tools out there which range from easy to difficult in getting around, but there's also plenty that you're not going to crack. My concern would not be in sending the message...in fact that's where the biggest security is. As was said above somewhere. You attack the person, the computer, and so on.

Since I love giving examples, here's a perfect one. Why can you and I burn DVD's? They are, after all...encrypted. The problem is that the encryption was broken (by a guy known as DVD John) because the end points were insecure. Somewhere you have to decrypt that message, and that's the sweet spot where you strike. Computers are better than DVD players, and it was really partial human error that the code was broken for DVD's.

If I hand you an encrypted file, I have no worries...it's only in the endpoints that I worry. If you are even a semi-organized terrorist organization...you will have the sense (I hope) to learn how to do it right to avoid being detected. But we also don't have to bust a terrorist simply by unencrypting the message. If I am the government, and I suspect you...I would simply watch where the traffic is coming from and then pull your location using something like your IP. Then it's much faster and easier to go steal your machine or interrogate you, or whatever else (just thinking out loud on this one). Then again it would be an interesting test to see how PGP Whole Disk Encryption stands up to the test
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post #28 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-07-2006, 02:17 PM Thread Starter
 
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One last thing...those weak/sweet spots to strike on a computer are also becoming more secure. Truth is that with the beauty of wireless lan's and wan's, I can do my work offline, then pick when and where I want to connect to send. Hell even sending the email requires a passphrase. I can encrypt my whole hard drive...and worst case...very very worst case, I can run a WIPE on the drive and the data is gone 100% forever.

Which is why in my first post, I figured that to the gov't it's not important to crack encrypted data...but to see where it goes.
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post #29 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-07-2006, 02:19 PM Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arch
Anyone who puts a key into a binary that can be obtained with a `strings` command deserved to get popped.
How's that quote go? "There are only 10 types of people in the world: Those who understand binary, and those who don't"
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post #30 of 60 (permalink) Old 04-07-2006, 02:24 PM
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'If you told me that I must transmit information from point A to point B using digital technology, then I have confidence that I can send a message that the government will not be able to crack.'
Fair enough... I have the confidence that if I send something via electronic means that the govt. *truely* wants access to, they will find a way... and that way will be easier than 99% of the world would like to believe... even if it does mean sneaking into your house...

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