How Many 1024-bit Primes Have Backdoors?

So how did the NSA backdoored the Internet or did they??? New ground-breaking paper shows that DSA and DH mod P keys with 1024 bits are vulnerable to practical backdoors which can be exploited to break our secure communications. Few highlights: For such trapdoored primes the DL problem can be solved in 2 months by an academic cluster. The …

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UCL InfoSec Visit at Bletchley Park – 2 Oct 2016

    Home Work After a bombe demonstration by a WW2 veteran Ruth Bourne and BP bombe experts, students have been asked to further study at home how Enigma was broken, see our hand-out. More details can be found in our teaching materials “Enigma and Block Ciphers – 100 years of cryptanalysis with non-commutative combinations …

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Researchers in Cryptography vs. Big Brother

For decades the dominant paradigm in crypto and security research would be: to claim that security vulnerabilities occur accidentally, ignoring major questions such as why there are so many of them and why the “bad scenarios” repeat so many times, concentrate security research on topics of secondary importance, or those which have no importance whatsoever and …

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UCL Code Breaking Competition Winners Announced

On the V-Day and the 71st anniversary of defeating the Nazi Germany, we should remember how much the victory is owed to code breakers at Bletchley Park and elsewhere. 2016 UCL Code Breaking Competition (part of GA18). On this day it is my pleasure to announce the winners of the 2016 UCL Code Breaking competition. The winners …

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Prime Numbers Conspiracy

The press is full of reports about a new discovery about prime numbers. Consecutive prime numbers do NOT like to end by the same digit mod q. For example the probability that the difference of two consecutive prime numbers close to x is divisible by 3 is different than 1/2 one might very naively expect. It …

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Two Particularly Rare Enigma Machines Made in France

Enigma cipher machines are rare collector items which are worth a small fortune. It is estimated that at least 50,000 Enigma machines have been manufactured during the WW2. Some Enigma machines are more exceptional than other, as there are much fewer of them left. When Polish code breakers went to France after Poland was overrun by …

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Super Fast Elliptic Curve Cryptography

Microsoft have released a new free ECC library which is up to 5x faster than with the traditional elliptic curve P-256 (which was so far the most commonly used curve in practical applications) and a also up to 3x faster than a well-known alternative Curve25519.   Bitcoin elliptic curve belongs to the category “special therefore suspicious” and have been …

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How Islamic State Terrorists Encrypt Their Messages

      According to BBC and many other sources, islamic state terrorists use a messaging app called Telegram to encrypt communications for groups of users. On the surface, Telegram developers seem to support high security standards: they have published the spec and API and funded in November 2014 a handsome 300,000 USD cash prize for cracking …

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