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US Government Using PS3s To Break Encryption 570

Posted by timothy
from the purchase-order-shenanigans dept.
Entropy98 writes "It seems that the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Cyber Crimes Center, known as C3, has replaced its '$8,000 Tableau/Dell server combination' with more efficient and much cheaper $300 PS3s. Each PS3 is capable of 4 million passwords per second, and C3 currently has 20 PS3s with plans to buy 40 more. Naturally this is only being used to break encryption on computers seized with a warrant and suspected of harboring child pornography."
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US Government Using PS3s To Break Encryption

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  • What (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Wednesday November 18, 2009 @06:17PM (#30149520) Journal

    being used to break encryption

    Each PS3 is capable of 4 million passwords per second

    Something doesn't match up. For first the different encryption schemes take different times to try even one password, and even more if you combine several of them together. Secondly you cannot try 4 million passwords in a second if its encrypted content, it takes a lot more than that.

  • by Eudial (590661) on Wednesday November 18, 2009 @06:19PM (#30149546)

    Naturally this is only being used to break encryption on computers seized with a warrant and suspected of harboring child pornography.

    ... suuuuuure.

  • Lovely encryption (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Applekid (993327) on Wednesday November 18, 2009 @06:27PM (#30149658)

    Good to know when the Government is cracking the encryption implemented by the public it's "cracking down on child pornography." When it's the public cracking encryption implemented by corporations it's a violation of the DMCA.

  • by Animal Farm Pig (1600047) on Wednesday November 18, 2009 @06:30PM (#30149716)
    So, with a brute force attack, I've only got 36,030,233,524,592,808,479,552,335 years before they will reach mine!
  • Re:What (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 18, 2009 @06:35PM (#30149798)

    this commodore64_love is just trolling...

  • Re:What (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Wonko the Sane (25252) * on Wednesday November 18, 2009 @06:52PM (#30150062) Journal

    Your passphrase should be quite a bit longer than eight characters if you care about your key at all.

  • by rahvin112 (446269) on Wednesday November 18, 2009 @06:55PM (#30150148)

    There is a difference between cracking encryption and the password used to secure the encryption. The article says they are using the systems to crack passwords, not encryption. The submitter has a reading problem.

  • by commodore64_love (1445365) on Wednesday November 18, 2009 @07:07PM (#30150298) Journal

    >>>There is nothing wrong with this legally.

    Nope. Searches performed with the permission of a judge (warrant) are perfectly legal. ----- That's fine. It's the law that needs to be changed. IMHO there should actually be three stages - childhood, teenager, and adulthood. Then we'd no longer have the nonsense of teenaged boy/girlfriends being charged for "child porn" simply because they took photos of their own bodies. (For that matter nudity shouldn't even be illegal, regardless of age.)

    >>>wiretap without a warrant is what I am worried about.

    Agreed, As Judge Napolitano keeps repeating, the Patriot Act gives federal cops the ability to write their own warrants, without need to stand before a judge and swear an oath. That's just plain ridiculous.

  • by Totenglocke (1291680) on Wednesday November 18, 2009 @07:35PM (#30150626)
    Question: How does this get modded troll? Slashdot is known for it's blatant distrust of government surveillance, so how does pointing out that there's no reason to believe the government's claims that they won't use this for cracking anything but legally seized computers amount to trolling?
  • by CronoCloud (590650) <cronocloudauron@gma i l . c om> on Wednesday November 18, 2009 @09:04PM (#30151542)

    Installing Linux is a Sony supported function on the PS2 (fat model) and the PS3 (fat model), no hacks/mods needed.

  • by ppanon (16583) on Wednesday November 18, 2009 @09:22PM (#30151726) Homepage Journal

    It's pretty simple. The military courts are appropriate for combatants captured on a foreign field of battle. By trying KSM and the others in civilian courts (because the 9/11 victims were civilians on US soil), the case establishes a couple of things that neo-cons don't want to happen:

    a) since evidence obtained through torture is ineligible in civilian courts, the information used by the prosecution will be what was obtained before he was tortured. So when KSM gets convicted on the basis of all the incriminating information that was available prior to torture, it will be a strong indictment that the torture used on him was not necessary. The whole neo-con "we had to torture" argument is shown for the pack of lies it is. Since Cheney was the biggest proponent of torture, it's not surprising he's also the most opposed to this happening since a conviction changes his place in history from question mark to a sadistic torturer.

    b) it re-establishes the primacy of the standard US criminal justice system for acts committed on U.S. soil.

    Basically, if KSM and his buddies can be convicted and put in jail through the civilian courts, it means that the wholesale raping of the Geneva Convention, habeus corpus, and other civil rights by the (neo-con) Republicans was unnecessary. It also sets a strong counter-precedent in case the neo-cons (inevitably) try the whole "Permanent Emergency" gambit again.

    So yeah, the neo-cons and their water bearers like Lieberman are seriously against this and using FUD to slam the effort. Big surprise.

  • by G-Man (79561) on Wednesday November 18, 2009 @11:55PM (#30152796)

    - All those officers and enlisted in the Pentagon would be surprised to know they are civilians.

    - Are they going to release KSM if he is acquitted? If not, this is just a show trial and a sham.

    - Whatever your stance on waterboarding, they didn't do it to KSM to get him to confess. They did it to acquire intel to prevent further attacks and/or take the battle to Al Qaeda.

    - During an interview with NBC tonight, the interviewer asked Obama if people would find it offensive that KSM would receive all the rights of an American citizen in a trial. Obama replied "I don't think it will be offensive at all when he's convicted and when the death penalty is applied to him." Pre-judging much? Tainting the jury?

    Come on. This is no trial in any real sense of the word. Other observers have pointed out that no one wants to see this guy walk, so the judges and prosecution will go through any contortion, no matter how ridiculous, to see him convicted. Whatever rulings they issue will then become precedent the Govt can use against everyday criminals (i.e., you and me).

    Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is the *enemy*. He cannot be rehabilitated. He cannot be reconstructed. He and his comrades would seek the overthrow of our system of government and its replacement with Sharia law. He is not a common criminal, and it is disrespectful to treat him like one - and you should always respect your enemy. Send him to his god and be done with it.

  • by DM9290 (797337) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @01:23PM (#30159184) Journal

    Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is the *enemy*. He cannot be rehabilitated. He cannot be reconstructed. He and his comrades would seek the overthrow of our system of government and its replacement with Sharia law. He is not a common criminal, and it is disrespectful to treat him like one - and you should always respect your enemy. Send him to his god and be done with it.

    He would love that. treating him like a common criminal is the most humiliating thing you can do to him.
    And seriously... unless the state has evidence to prove such allegations I would not want to live in a place that any government officials have the power to just go around and kill people with no due process.

    This is a land where the rule of law, the constitution, and the fundamental principles of justice are supreme. if you hate your justice system so much that you would try to thwart it and impose your own vigilantee justice, then you are just as bad as any common criminal attempting to replace justice with Sharia law.

    Justice demands a fair trial. And if the US can't give it, they should turn these people over to the Hague.

  • by b0bby (201198) on Thursday November 19, 2009 @02:31PM (#30160532) Homepage

    Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is the *enemy*. He cannot be rehabilitated. He cannot be reconstructed. He and his comrades would seek the overthrow of our system of government and its replacement with Sharia law.

    My view is, he's just like Timothy McVeigh, or an abortion clinic shooter. There's no way they can actually overthrow our system of government. They are non state terrorists, little more than common criminals, and really have very little power. Our system of the rule of law is much stronger and more important than any of them - and if we can't convict him in a court of law, then he should be freed. If he is freed and viewed as a serious threat, he should be kept under surveillance, but the rule of law is more important than any one individual.

"It is easier to fight for principles than to live up to them." -- Alfred Adler

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