Cracking 1024 bit RSA keys

The next time someone raves about the advances of computing ask them about this challenge. Truly a benchmark for the next 100 years in computing a paper published by Adi Shamir and Eran Tromer entitled “On the Cost of Factoring RSA-1024” [pdf] hypothesizes a device which could “break a 1024-bit RSA key in one year using a devices whose cost is about $10M”. emphasis mine.
$10M is a sizable amount of start up cost so this type of power certainly isn’t going to fall into the hands of criminal organizations (maybe narco lords in South America) but defense agencies could certainly handle this type of cost. It isn’t difficult to imagine a scenario where a message is important enough to necessitate this type of effort. However advances such as perfect forward secrecy make even these herculean efforts less effective. Courts have been dealing with this issue in a different way. Some realize they can’t coerce a private key while others attempt to force decryption with the threat of jail time. My question is how well does Moore’s law really fit here? Using the simple 1/2 price in 1 year version of this axiom we can expect to crack 1024 bit keys with as little as $10k (in one year) 10 years from now.

local irish bar… hacked

While doing some research for the SOURCEboston pub crawl I wandered over to the Tommy Doyle web page. Clearly not a page visited often or cared for much by the owners since it has a anti-war page up stating:

Security :0 My test: 1

Who is ‘the real murder’ Bush? You or this baby?
[ – _ +]

Hacked BY Scientist/AYT

A haunting but beautiful arabic song plays in the background. the source of the mp3 is…. but I can not in good conscience hotlink to the song. If anyone knows the folks at TD’s they might need to be notified to fix their server security. The really odd part is the Kendall page and the main page are unchanged. It is only the Harvard location page which contains this message.

Here is a mirror of the page
tommy doyle pwned

TrueCrypt finally coming to Mac OS X

Release scheduled for: February 4, 2008

Unfamiliar with TrueCrypt?

Creates a virtual encrypted disk within a file and mounts it as a real disk.

Encrypts an entire hard disk partition or a storage device such as USB flash drive.

Encryption is automatic, real-time (on-the-fly) and transparent.

Provides two levels of plausible deniability, in case an adversary forces you to reveal the password:

1) Hidden volume.
2) No TrueCrypt volume can be identified
Encryption algorithms: AES-256, Serpent, and Twofish. Mode of operation: LRW.
Further information regarding features of the software may be found in the documentation.

MPPA admits they were wrong about college downloading

The 2005 study from LEK Consulting commissioned by the MPAA tripled the actual amount of college downloading from 15% to 45%. The industry group now admits they were incorrect about the amount of downloading by college students however they are NOT changing their minds about the rider they attached to the College Opportunity and Affordability Act of 2007. The timing of the MPAA admission is greatly suspect since the bill has already gone through many rounds with the erroneous numbers intact. Do the men and women in Congress and the House know about these new corrections?

RIAA webserver compromised

The following url was found on a popular aggregation site,MD5('asdf')),NULL,NULL,NULL,NULL%20--

broken down into component pieces the actual sql commands are easier to read:


We can see that the url parameters contain a mysql command to benchmark 10M md5 operations on the string ‘asdf’. The very clear and simple vector allowed some others to achieve content insertion and even possibly deletion. What is worse is that a malicious person could have easily planted an iframe in the content to infect every visitor of the RIAA website. They are clearly not conducting code reviews on the RIAA website since this type of SQL injection attack would be noticed by even the most novice of auditors. The Content Management System (CMS) used was known to be vulnerable so there were likely patches available.


As noted on several other blogs…
Psiphon is part of the CiviSec Project run by the Citizen Lab at the Munk Centre for International Studies at the University of Toronto. The CiviSec Project is funded by the Open Society Institute.


Tor is great if you are already encrypting your traffic. It isn’t the best idea if you are doing a lot of clear text related activities.

OSX Instructions here

The Tor Overview is worth reading through and I can see good uses for this type of tech for globe trotters who may need to bypass certain filters.

Some advanced tips:

If you want to forward multiple virtual ports for a single hidden service, just add more HiddenServicePort lines. If you want to run multiple hidden services from the same Tor client, just add another HiddenServiceDir line. All the following HiddenServicePort lines refer to this HiddenServiceDir line, until you add another HiddenServiceDir line:

HiddenServiceDir /usr/local/etc/tor/hidden_service/
HiddenServicePort 80

HiddenServiceDir /usr/local/etc/tor/other_hidden_service/
HiddenServicePort 6667
HiddenServicePort 22

Wireless Resources

Wireless Users Groups Bay Area Wireless Users Group NYC Wireless Group Personal Telco Project FRARS Wireless lan working group Boston Area Wireless Internet Alliance
GBA 802.11 Greater Boston Area 802.11 Wireless Database
DC-WiFi Initiative Public WiFi advocates in Washington DC
Seattle Wireless Seattle Wireless group

Wardriving Resources Wardriving news portal Wireless security portal (German) Wardriving and Wireless site (German)

Generative Internet

Applying this framework, the Article explores ways — some of them bound to be unpopular among advocates of an open Internet represented by uncompromising end-to-end neutrality — in which the Internet can be made to satisfy genuine and pressing security concerns while retaining the most important generative aspects of today’s networked technology.

Zittrain, Jonathan, “The Generative Internet” . Harvard Law Review, Vol. 119, 2006 Available at SSRN:

Professor of Internet Governance and Regulation
Oxford University
Oxford Internet Institute
1 St Giles
Oxford OX1 3JS,
United Kingdom
+4401865287210 (Phone)
+16175880201 (Fax)

Filed in Non Sequiter, Rights Online, spyware | Comments (0) | Permalink

Remote Desktop Connection (RDC) Settings

Remote Desktop connections support three security settings:

* The low security setting enables 40-bit or 56-bit encryption of all data transmitted from the client, such as keyboard and mouse data.
* The medium security setting enables 40-bit or 56-bit encryption of all data transmitted between the client and server.
* The high security setting provides 128-bit encryption of all data transmitted between the client and server.