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Author Topic: Public Key Security Flaw?  (Read 2735 times)
mcqueenorama
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April 20, 2011, 04:01:31 PM
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I got the chance to talk about BitCoin this morning to a meeting of startup folks at a local incubator in Silicon Valley.  It was Mobile Payments day so it was a great opportunity to jump up and talk.  One of the dudes there told me something like the gov't  has already cracked public key cryptography - that its essentially just a "speed bump".  He says it was a General speaking, or an NSA guy or some such thing.

What's the story here guys?

How do I handle such comments?


 
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FooDSt4mP
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April 20, 2011, 04:06:02 PM
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I got the chance to talk about BitCoin this morning to a meeting of startup folks at a local incubator in Silicon Valley.  It was Mobile Payments day so it was a great opportunity to jump up and talk.  One of the dudes there told me something like the gov't  has already cracked public key cryptography - that its essentially just a "speed bump".  He says it was a General speaking, or an NSA guy or some such thing.

What's the story here guys?

How do I handle such comments?


 

They may be able to brute force it for small messages.  Just add some garbage data as padding Wink.

As we slide down the banister of life, this is just another splinter in our ass.
vuce
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April 20, 2011, 04:51:02 PM
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I got the chance to talk about BitCoin this morning to a meeting of startup folks at a local incubator in Silicon Valley.  It was Mobile Payments day so it was a great opportunity to jump up and talk.  One of the dudes there told me something like the gov't  has already cracked public key cryptography - that its essentially just a "speed bump".  He says it was a General speaking, or an NSA guy or some such thing.

What's the story here guys?

How do I handle such comments?


 
It all depends on the key length. Security depends on discrete logarithm problem, which at this time is difficult to solve (O(sqrt n), where n is proportional to key length). Small keys can be cracked, but something that would be used in bitcoin can't. The only way I see current public cryptography being cracked is with quantum computers.
Terpie
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April 20, 2011, 04:53:33 PM
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So then all online banking is vulnerable. Seems like Bitcoin would be the least of the NSAs/Feds problems at that point.
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April 20, 2011, 05:03:18 PM
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I got the chance to talk about BitCoin this morning to a meeting of startup folks at a local incubator in Silicon Valley.  It was Mobile Payments day so it was a great opportunity to jump up and talk.  One of the dudes there told me something like the gov't  has already cracked public key cryptography - that its essentially just a "speed bump".  He says it was a General speaking, or an NSA guy or some such thing.

What's the story here guys?

How do I handle such comments?


 

Get some tinfoil, fashon it into a semi sphere/oval shape, place on head, now you're safe.

PGP key id at pgp.mit.edu 0xA68F4B7C

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MoonShadow
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April 20, 2011, 06:19:38 PM
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If they have something awesome like a quantum computer a 256 bit key is no more difficult to crack than a 128 bit key.

That's not entirely true, as a quantum computer requires a qubit for each encryption bit, but it's true enough.  Still, if quantum computers ever become a realistic threat to Bitcoin, then online commerce and electronic banking will already have been laid bare.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
fergalish
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April 20, 2011, 07:46:53 PM
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There are algorithms that do not offer an advantage to quantum computing systems, but it would take widespread belief in such a threat to incentivize everyone to switch over.
Which ones?  Can you supply a not-too-technical reference?
vuce
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April 20, 2011, 07:57:14 PM
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There are algorithms that do not offer an advantage to quantum computing systems, but it would take widespread belief in such a threat to incentivize everyone to switch over.
Which ones?  Can you supply a not-too-technical reference?
Multivariate cryptography, lattice-based cryptography
baslisks
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April 20, 2011, 08:25:31 PM
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There are algorithms that do not offer an advantage to quantum computing systems, but it would take widespread belief in such a threat to incentivize everyone to switch over.
Which ones?  Can you supply a not-too-technical reference?
Multivariate cryptography, lattice-based cryptography

which sounds like a bunch of words thrown together. quick synop on what that means?
vuce
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April 20, 2011, 08:37:09 PM
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There are algorithms that do not offer an advantage to quantum computing systems, but it would take widespread belief in such a threat to incentivize everyone to switch over.
Which ones?  Can you supply a not-too-technical reference?
Multivariate cryptography, lattice-based cryptography

which sounds like a bunch of words thrown together. quick synop on what that means?
they use similar ideas on different mathematical structures (and I really can't summarize those). One such example would be ntruencrypt.
baslisks
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April 20, 2011, 08:42:49 PM
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There are algorithms that do not offer an advantage to quantum computing systems, but it would take widespread belief in such a threat to incentivize everyone to switch over.
Which ones?  Can you supply a not-too-technical reference?
Multivariate cryptography, lattice-based cryptography

which sounds like a bunch of words thrown together. quick synop on what that means?
they use similar ideas on different mathematical structures (and I really can't summarize those). One such example would be ntruencrypt.

thats exactly what we needed. Thanks
gusti
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April 20, 2011, 08:51:34 PM
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what about this news then ?

If you don't own the private keys, you don't own the coins.
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April 20, 2011, 09:07:06 PM
 #13

It is possible that flaws could be exploited to alter or crack a single BLOCK.  This would take a huge amount of resources and the result would be maybe changing the ownership of 50btc.  If you had that power, there would be many other better places to use it. 


error
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April 20, 2011, 09:57:53 PM
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I got the chance to talk about BitCoin this morning to a meeting of startup folks at a local incubator in Silicon Valley.  It was Mobile Payments day so it was a great opportunity to jump up and talk.  One of the dudes there told me something like the gov't  has already cracked public key cryptography - that its essentially just a "speed bump".  He says it was a General speaking, or an NSA guy or some such thing.

What's the story here guys?

How do I handle such comments?

Ignore it. It's virtually guaranteed to be false. If the government HAD cracked public key cryptography, it would almost certainly be a very well kept secret.

All of the breaks we've seen have been people who either had the passphrase rubber hosed out of them, or used a weak one in the first place. Oh yeah, and in some cases, the key has been lifted straight from RAM in a running system.

15UFyv6kfWgq83Pp3yhXPr8rknv9m6581W
MoonShadow
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April 20, 2011, 10:36:07 PM
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It is possible that flaws could be exploited to alter or crack a single BLOCK.  This would take a huge amount of resources and the result would be maybe changing the ownership of 50btc.  If you had that power, there would be many other better places to use it. 

Not even a block, but only one bitcoin address keypair.  The block as a whole does not use a unified cryptographic scheme.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
mcqueenorama
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April 21, 2011, 03:25:16 AM
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Very good guys!

Thanks
Stephen Gornick
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April 21, 2011, 08:58:22 AM
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talk about BitCoin this morning to a meeting of startup folks at a local incubator in Silicon Valley.

Was there anything else from the event that you found interesting or might be worth sharing?

Jim Hyslop
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April 24, 2011, 03:51:20 AM
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Ignore it. It's virtually guaranteed to be false. If the government HAD cracked public key cryptography, it would almost certainly be a very well kept secret.
Or the other end of the spectrum - LOTS of public discussions and scrambling to convert everything to a different mechanism. And besides, if they had broken ONE type of PKC, that doesn't mean they've broken it all. I doubt very much that the ability to break RSA (for example) would compromise elliptic-curve cryptography.

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vuce
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April 24, 2011, 05:51:27 AM
 #19

I doubt very much that the ability to break RSA (for example) would compromise elliptic-curve cryptography.
unless someone finds an efficient generalized algorithm for solving discrete logarithm, in which case pretty much all cryptography currently in use would fall.
kowalski09
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April 26, 2011, 01:44:06 PM
 #20

This just in: The government has the ability to debase the gold market.

It will just take them insane amounts of energy and time on their atom smashers.

'The government' is a large group of people commanding a large portion of the resources. In an absolute sense, they command quite a bit of power and no scheme we have will ever be 100%. The point is to make it as hard as possible to manipulate the exchange of value. Gold was always a decent way to do that, as even mining it is slow compared to the expansion of purely fiat currency. Bitcoin, as long as the technicals work out, is even better with no way to make inflation happen substantially faster than scheduled.
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