I propose a "Denial of usefullness" attack on the NSA

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Alan Browne, Sep 7, 2013.

  1. Alan Browne

    Howard Guest


    Fair enough .... but I think it should have continued and another
    indefinite campaign should be started now...
     
    Howard, Sep 9, 2013
    #21
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  2. Nada. It does nothing for liberty, and only increases tax payer burden.

    So go foul your own country.
     
    John McWilliams, Sep 9, 2013
    #22
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  3. Alan Browne

    Howard Guest

    yeah ... he's busy fouling it all by himself.
     
    Howard, Sep 9, 2013
    #23
  4. Alan Browne

    Don Bruder Guest

    Good. The more people who get hit, and therefore get pissed off about
    how the government is misusing their money, the more likely it is that
    something will actually change.
    Thanks, but I like it well enough right here. What I don't like is the
    government that's *SUPPOSED TO BE* by, for, and of the people instead
    screwing over those people, including myself, every which way they can
    get away with.

    Y'know, John, it's folks like you and your "love it or leave it" crap
    that have allowed things to reach the state they have today. No, John, I
    love America just fine. But I dislike, and sometimes even hate, the
    government running roughshod over the citizenry for no better reason
    than "because we're the government and we can". So I'm not leaving
    anytime soon. I'm also not going to sit silently accepting the abuse of
    power. Like the founding fathers of 200-ish years ago, I'm going to kick
    and scream and do whatever else it's possible for me to do until things
    change to something that, even if not exactly what I love, is at least
    acceptable. The situation as it stands no longer is.
     
    Don Bruder, Sep 9, 2013
    #24
  5. Alan Browne

    Alan Browne Guest

    The problem with their campaign was it was far too simplistic.

    - far too easy to filter and ignore
    - tiny bandwidth
    - did not force effort (decryption)

    Not to mention that it was not well advertised.

    --
    "Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional,
    illogical minority, and rapidly promoted by mainstream media,
    which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible
    to pick up a piece of shit by the clean end."
    -Unknown
     
    Alan Browne, Sep 9, 2013
    #25
  6. Alan Browne

    Alan Browne Guest

    The US fouls the world with its political, military and industrial
    might, crass "cultural" output and bewilderingly ignorant tourists.

    There's bound to be blowback.

    --
    "Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional,
    illogical minority, and rapidly promoted by mainstream media,
    which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible
    to pick up a piece of shit by the clean end."
    -Unknown
     
    Alan Browne, Sep 9, 2013
    #26
  7. The problem with their campaign is that it is unnecessary. The NSA
    are already swamped. If you wanted to send secret messages around,
    you'd just encode them into a jpg or movie file of porn. That is
    known and easy technology.

    So the NSA has the job in theory of looking for needles in those very
    large haystacks. This is a problem they can't solve.

    There are dozens of other problems just as hard that they can't solve.

    The problems they _can_ solve don't involve filtering through traffic
    from hundreds of millions of random people. They involve identifying
    someone who they have other reasons to suspect, and analyzing traffic
    to, from, and around that person.

    Sending huge encrypyted files around the internet is something that is
    already happening constantly without any campaign to screw up the
    NSA. So a campaign on behalf of a bunch of tech geeks to add to this
    is going to be a drop in the bucket of a problem which is already
    beyond the scope of NSA's capabilities.

    So go to town if you like. The extra traffic will slow down the
    internet by an unmeasurably small amount, it will increase the cost of
    internet infrastructure by some similar small amount, and it will
    really have no effect on the NSA at all.
     
    Doug Anderson, Sep 10, 2013
    #27
  8. Alan Browne

    Alan Browne Guest

    Brilliant. That introduction was quite inspiring. I now await your
    figures and references.



    In the meantime, here is a spooky paragraph:
    QUOTE
    According to another top official also involved with the program, the
    NSA made an enormous breakthrough several years ago in its ability to
    cryptanalyze, or break, unfathomably complex encryption systems employed
    by not only governments around the world but also many average computer
    users in the US.
    UNQUOTE
    http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2012/03/ff_nsadatacenter/

    --
    "Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional,
    illogical minority, and rapidly promoted by mainstream media,
    which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible
    to pick up a piece of shit by the clean end."
    -Unknown
     
    Alan Browne, Sep 10, 2013
    #28
  9. Yes, as I said in my paragraph beginning "The problems they _can_
    solve".

    If they have specific encrypted data they want to decrypt, they know a
    lot about how to do it (they can't always do it, but they sometimes
    can).

    Developing that sort of expertise has long been one of their core
    missions.

    What they can't do is sort through the thousands of petabytes of daily
    traffic on the internet. Most of that traffic is media, so if you are
    an actual spy, that is where you want to hide your encrypted
    communications.
     
    Doug Anderson, Sep 10, 2013
    #29
  10. Alan Browne

    xfile Guest

    The problem with their campaign was it was far too simplistic.
    On the other hand, "they" could be the NSA trying to test new algorithms ;)

    Or, these and other posts have already been analyzed and they already
    know the intended plot and are laughing out loud :).
     
    xfile, Sep 10, 2013
    #30
  11. Alan Browne

    No one Guest

    We learned all that from the UK, France, and Spain.
     
    No one, Sep 10, 2013
    #31
  12. Alan Browne

    Alan Browne Guest


    Of course Doug, and I can't wait for your references, facts and figures.

    By the way, let's assume they don't bother recording everything Netflix
    alone spews out (over 1/3 of US internet downstream traffic) and their
    like (Hulu, etc.).

    As to Steganographic techniques, they are limited in practice to
    published algorithms (apps) that are knowable by the NSA making
    detection easier. Probably no big deal to analyze every submission to
    YouTube for likely Steg videos to route for more processing. (eg: if
    there is a pattern of yellow pixel changes in a field (even by just the
    LSB) compared to others on the same frame and across frames it will
    stand out statistically given enough analysis).

    You make the case that the amount of data is massive - but don't forget
    how much the NSA spends on top flight hardware - and replacing it
    continuously. Further, a lot of such processing doesn't take place on
    classic CPU's, but dedicated firmware programmed machines with 10 - 100x
    the processing bandwidth - albeit for narrower purposes.

    But of course you can prove me wrong (not just say it).

    --
    "Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional,
    illogical minority, and rapidly promoted by mainstream media,
    which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible
    to pick up a piece of shit by the clean end."
    -Unknown
     
    Alan Browne, Sep 10, 2013
    #32
  13. Why? Are you asserting that terrorists only want to use techniques
    that have been published out of some sense of fairness or because they
    like to list the references?

    Or are you saying that terrorists don't have any hackers working for
    them to figure out other ways to encode data in large binary files.
    The fact that you write this indicates how little understanding you
    have of the amount of data, or of how easy it is to hide data in a
    video/picture/sound file.

    No big deal to analyze every submission to YouTube for every known way
    of hiding data in it? That's just laughable. Keep in mind (your
    example below) many ways of hiding data in video/music/picture files
    don't involve changing the image/sound at all.
    Yep. Which they need to break encryption - it is a computationally
    intensive task.

    I'm quite sure they are doing what they can to scan other traffic, but
    again, the idea that we need to _increase_ the number of terabytes
    flooding by every day to make their job harder involves magical
    thinking about what their capabilities are.
    Sure, they have lots of fast computers. That doesn't make them magic.
     
    Doug Anderson, Sep 10, 2013
    #33
  14. Alan Browne

    Mxsmanic Guest

    True. There's a huge, huge difference between traffic in the clear and
    encrypted traffic. If it's in the clear, you just watch the streem as it goes
    by and pick what you want. If it's encrypted, you have to figure out which
    encryption is used, and then decrypt it (if you can). In the first case, you
    can spot the interesting stuff and collect it at the same time. In the second
    case, you don't know if what you're intercepting is interesting unless and
    until you decrypt it, which means that you can waste huge amounts of time and
    computer power decrypting stuff that is worthless.
     
    Mxsmanic, Sep 10, 2013
    #34
  15. Alan Browne

    Rod Speed Guest

    But I now agree with Doug's comment that its very unlikely
    that the NSA bothers to decrypt heavily encrypted traffic when
    the terrorists who matter would be using other approaches like
    embedding what they don't want operations like the NSA to
    see in video that has a plausible reason for being there instead
    in a way that even the NSA will never find it no matter how
    many resources they use to try to find it all.
    But its very unlikely that the terrorists
    they care about are that stupid.

    Petty criminals may well be, but not the terrorists that matter,
    or even the very stupid ones like the ones that did the Boston
    bombings.
    But given that its so easy to hide what matters in videos
    etc, its very unlikely that there will be much that is very
    interesting except in say the traffic between foreign
    govt entitys that have to move a lot of data around.
    And it isnt even possible to do it with the stuff
    which isnt, terrorist material embedded in videos etc.
     
    Rod Speed, Sep 10, 2013
    #35
  16. Don't be soo stupid: the NSA is NOT searching potential terrorists.
    Else they would have been able to avoid the Boston strokes.
    NSA seeks for business and political information.
    You'd rather put some keywords like "quotation" "Airbus", biotechnology,
    Due Diligence, Balance sheet, and post from the VPNs of european key
    player domains. etc...,
     
    Laszlo Lebrun, Sep 10, 2013
    #36
  17. Yes and did the NSA manage this very easy case?
    No! and this is the proof that they are NOT trying to prevent terrorism.
    They want business information and information from the really influent
    people.
     
    Laszlo Lebrun, Sep 10, 2013
    #37
  18. Alan Browne

    Alan Browne Guest

    No facts - just conjecture.

    No figures - just rhetoric.

    etc.


    --
    "Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional,
    illogical minority, and rapidly promoted by mainstream media,
    which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible
    to pick up a piece of shit by the clean end."
    -Unknown
     
    Alan Browne, Sep 10, 2013
    #38
  19. Just out of curiosity (and given the tenor of your conversation, I
    should really know better), what "facts" could possibly convince you?

    The reason the NSA is too flooded with data to be able to analyze any
    more than a small fraction of it is a basic calculation involving the
    nation's supply of manpower combined with existing capabilities of
    computer systems and so-called "artificial intelligence."

    I can do the calculation for you, but I'm sure you won't believe my
    calculation.

    If I could point to an NSA document outlining the degree to which they
    are flooded (I can't, such a document would be classified) you
    wouldn't believe it anyway.

    If I could point to third party documents (I can), would you believe
    them?

    Thought not.

    So what's the point?
     
    Doug Anderson, Sep 11, 2013
    #39
  20. Alan Browne

    Alan Browne Guest

    Hard data. How much data has the NSA collected. How much processing
    does it have reduced to firmware solutions?
    Cute. Use the "extravagantly impossibly" defense. There is no need for
    artificial intelligence to break crypto. It is algorithms that exploit
    known weaknesses to decrypt the message. Such algorithms are usually
    reductible to firmware machines that are several orders of magnitude
    faster than GP CPU's. And they are cheap to design, cheap to build,
    cheap to program and cheap to run. Every time some genius comes up with
    a new approach another dozen machines can be set up in days (or hours)
    to begin sifting.

    As to images or video, as a first 'rejection' it is trivial to compare
    new images or video to existing to spot differences. eg: video files of
    the same name, or close to the same size, can be quickly matched (or
    not). Where there are tiny diferences those can be analyzed for
    possible messages (encrypted or not). And such algorithms are easily
    reduced to firmware to speed processing by magnitudes.
    Shoot. I can calculate too. But the point is GIGO.
    What do they call statements like that anyway?
    Go ahead. But 3rd party docs, by definition, are not NSA data on
    capability.
    Exactly. What is the point of you denying something when you have no
    facts. OTOH, the NSA has a massive budget and fibre-optic taps on all
    major links coming into the US. They didn't do that nor construct that
    building that monstrosity in Utah for kicks. As the Wired article said,
    there has been some wicked breakthrough... (of course that's not backed
    up...).

    --
    "Political correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional,
    illogical minority, and rapidly promoted by mainstream media,
    which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible
    to pick up a piece of shit by the clean end."
    -Unknown
     
    Alan Browne, Sep 11, 2013
    #40
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