Bruce Schneier has announced the semifinalists in his seventh annual Movie-Plot Threat Contest, wherein contestants dream up implausible reasons to justify extreme surveillance and other lawless policing techniques like torture and indefinite detention. My favorite: Homeopathic Factoring, "The NSA, through the White House's Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives formed a partnership with Zicam Digital to explore and exploit homeopathic techniques for advanced cryptanalysis."
After several years of intense research collaboration between the NSA's mathematicians and Zicam's homeopathologists the succeeded in achieving homeopathic factoring.
Homeopathic factoring builds on the same powerful principles that make homeopathic medicines so effective. A solution of arnica that has become so diluted that none of the molecules remain in a particular dose is effective because of "water memory" - the vibrations of the active ingredient remain in the pure water, carrying the healing power. Software developed at the NSA and deployed in the mid-2000s is able to detect the "algebraic memory" in the products of the large primes enabling fast and reliable factoring.
With the NSA's homeopathic factoring systems in place breaking all cryptography that relies on the difficulty of integer factorization, such as the RSA algorithm, has become trivial. Their work on breaking elliptic curves using dousing rods is promising, but as yet incomplete.
Seventh Movie-Plot Threat Contest Semifinalists
The CBC asked me to write an editorial for their package about Canadian identity and politics, timed with the 150th anniversary of the founding of the settler state on indigenous lands. They’ve assigned several writers to expand on themes in the Canadian national anthem, and my line was “We stand on guard for thee.”
In a paper for IEEE Security, researchers from Cyberpion and Israel’s College of Management Academic Studies describe a “Password Reset Man-in-the-Middle Attack” that leverages a bunch of clever insights into how password resets work to steal your email account (and other kinds of accounts), even when it’s protected by two-factor authentication.
U.S. Girl Scouts as young as 5 years old will soon be able to earn their first-ever cybersecurity badges. 18 of these merit patches will be launched by the Girl Scouts of the USA starting in September, 2018.
Even though credit cards now feature an EMV chip for securing transactions, they still have to include the magnetic strip for compatibility with older point of sale systems. Because of this, there’s no way for the chip’s new security capabilities to protect against card skimmers in the wild.How do you protect yourself from legacy-technology-induced fraud? […]
As the old saying goes, “You should sit in meditation for 30 minutes every day. Unless you are too busy, in which case you should meditate for an hour.” Since most of us have an endless list of things to do and people to see, carving out quiet time can feel impossible, especially when most […]
The Bragi Dash Truly Wireless Smart Earphones are far more than your run of the mill Bluetooth earbuds. While the earpiece design makes these earbuds ideal for exercise and activity, and passive noise cancelling is conducive to a more serene listening experience, these buds go well beyond just playing music.First of all, they can actually […]