Zonk from the using-numbers-for-evil dept.
netbuzz writes "First we learn from Bruce Schneier that the NSA may have left itself a secret back door in an officially sanctioned cryptographic random-number generator. Now Adi Shamir is warning that a math error unknown to a chip makers but discovered by a tech-savvy terrorist could lead to serious consequences, too. Remember the Intel blunder of 1996? 'Mr. Shamir wrote that if an intelligence organization discovered a math error in a widely used chip, then security software on a PC with that chip could be "trivially broken with a single chosen message." Executing the attack would require only knowledge of the math flaw and the ability to send a "poisoned" encrypted message to a protected computer, he wrote. It would then be possible to compute the value of the secret key used by the targeted system.'"
In the sciences, we are now uniquely priviledged to sit side by side with
the giants on whose shoulders we stand.
-- Gerald Holton