At 06:09 PM 2/24/2006 +0100, Ian G wrote:
Steven M. Bellovin wrote:

Certainly, usability is an issue. It hasn't been solved because there's no market for it here; far too few people care about email encryption.

Usability is the issue.  If I look over onto
my skype window, it says there are 5 million
or so users right now.  It did that without
any of the hullabaloo of the other systems,
and still manages to encrypt my comms.  By
some measures it is the most successful crypto
system ever.

Actually the usability issue has been solved elsewhere too. We did it over at TriStrata before the firm crashed in 1998. We allowed the system security officer to select the default cipher to use in sending emails (DES, 3DES, Blowfish, RC4, etc.). The receiver could use any cipher for decrypting incoming email. A sys admin installed some filter software into the email client, and except for an initial login dialog (and we even simplified that by hooking the OS login dialog), the user never had to do anything further. The local auth keys that he received during enrollment were encrypted with his password on a small
floppy disk, or could be installed on the hard drive automatically.

Last I heard (early 2005) one system was operational over in the nuclear engineering department at Ohio State (for DOE work?). Of course one old system rack in the
dusty corner of a school building does not a market make.

- Alex


- Alex Alten

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