At 02:37 AM 9/9/03 +1000, Greg Rose wrote:
>At 05:18 PM 9/7/2003 -0700, David Honig wrote:
>>"Laughing my ass off."  Since when do governments care about patents?
>>How would this help/harm them from exploiting it?   Not that
>>high-end LEOs haven't already had this capacity ---Biham et al
>>are only the first *open* researchers to reveal this.
>Actually, patenting the method isn't nearly as silly as it sounds. Produced 
>in quantity, a device to break GSM using this attack is not going to cost 
>much more than a cellphone (without subsidies). Patenting the attack 
>prevents the production of the "radio shack (tm) gsm scanner", so that it 
>at least requires serious attackers, not idle retirees or jealous teenagers.

That sounds like a "lets make inexpensive guns illegal so only the
wealthy can have them" argument.  Or maybe a more Soviet "lets make
typewriters, xerox machines available only to those we trust".

The people who are into scanners (wealthy idle retirees, HAMS
demographically) etc. will have them, why not everyone?  In particular, and
cryptographically relevant, 
why continue a popular illusion that something is secure when its not?   

Should Blaze have published the locksmiths' master-key secret
and his detailed exploit? 
Any "idle retiree or jealous teen" can now get into places previously
(but erroneously) believed secure.  

(If some culture wants to, it can make the practice --scanning on 900Mhz,
going through a lock to trespass, exploiting a Windows security hole, 
or Biham et al's GSM attack-- illegal.   Patenting a method is not a very
good way to implement morality.  Neither will it constrain the interested

I hope the discoverer's intent was only to make money.

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