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
Justin Shafer was roused from his bed this week by thunderous knocking at his North Richland Hills, Texas home, and when he opened the door, found himself staring down the barrel of a ‘big green’ assault weapon, wielded by one of the 12-15 armed FBI agents on his lawn.
Many years ago, EFF co-founder John Gilmore and I were discussing the prevalence of botnets, which are commonly used to launch distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks that overwhelm websites with floods of traffic; John said that if the botnets were really on the rise at the reported rate, we should expect to see a […]
Earlier this week, I wrote about the legal threats from Landis and Gyr against the Freedom of Information service Muckrock, which had received documents from the City of Seattle detailing the workings of Landis and Gyr’s smart-meter system, which Seattle has purchased from them at public expense.
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