At 7:38 PM -0500 3/30/03, reusch wrote:
Via the Cryptome, http://www.cryptome.org/, "RU sure", look
at http://www.aeronautics.ru/news/news002/news082.htm.



I showed this link to a friend who fixes helicopters for the Army/Marines. He was incredulous at first, but then said, "Oh, they probably just turned off the crypto. There's a switch to do that. Sometimes you have to do that if things screw up."

He went on to talk about "crypto" as if it was something like fuel or food. He said, "They probably loaded up 4 or 5 days of crypto at the beginning, but then they had to turn it off after the supply lines got muddled."

So this would be consistent with some key management structures but not with others. If you give a unit a good random number source and diffie-hellman, they should be able to go the entire war without running out of "crypto." But I don't know if the US military embraces the kind of hierarchy-free key management imagined by cypherpunks.

Of course, many of the details from the Russian could be gathered from raw traffic analysis. It's easy to count messages and triangulate to figure out where US troops are massing. It's also easy to tell that an absence of messages from the interior of the city means that the US troops haven't entered yet. The crypto may cloak the details of the messages, but those details may not be too important. (I wouldn't be surprised if they carried some news of the NCAA basketball tournament, for instance.)


-Peter


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