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Thread: hmmm a hacker named wall street journal???

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002

    hmmm a hacker named wall street journal???

    "The default encryption standards on exported versions of Windows 2000 may have revealed confidential details about the movements of the al-Qaeda network.
    Two computers bought by Wall Street Journal reporters from looters in Kabul after it was captured by the Northern Alliance turned out to have been lifted from al-Qaeda headquarters and still contained documents relating to the terrorist group's activities.

    Of the thousands of files stored on the machines some of the more interesting documents, including a number that may relate to 'Shoe Bomber' Richard Reid, were encrypted using Windows 2000's standard 40-bit DES Encrypting File System.

    Using a cluster of computers, the Wall Street Journal managed to crack the 40-bit encryption keys. But this took five days as the computers had to cycle through over a trillion different keys.

    Had the software been bought after March of last year, or in the US itself, the keys would have been 128-bit by default and billions of times harder to crack."

    I used to be With IT. But then they changed what IT was. Now what I'm with isn't IT, and what's IT seems scary and weird." - Abe Simpson

  2. #2
    AO Curmudgeon rcgreen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001

    Thumbs up

    And if all encryption were abolished,
    it would be easier to spy on terrorists,
    I came in to the world with nothing. I still have most of it.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    side point: I read the original article and thought it was amusing that the journalist purchased the computers for $1.

    Back the article -how many people did they bring into the crack the system -was it brute force or more refined -these points left out of the business man's paper.

    I also wondered why the us govnt let 128 bit encryption be exported. My feeling is they have a trick to crack it.

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