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Re: RS232 Crypto Dongle (idea for widely accessible crypto technology)
Re Phil's items on the Crypto-Dongle.
I'm in favor of a device having a keypad for PIN entry, with a fail -->
destroy function. Making it small enough to be kept on one's person all the
time, virtually guarantees other manufacturing compromises which would
result in degraded reliability or increased potential for physical breakage.
It should not be necessary to carry it on you; in any case, possession of
one might raise eyebrows in some quarters. I believe that carrying out the
entire crypto operation in the dongle is preferable to having it only do the
secret key RSA processing; if for no other reason, compatibility problems
that might result in creation of platform-specific dongles. Better to have
one Universal Dongle that needs only a platform-specific user interface.
The dongle (suggested brand name: Codepack) could also be sold as a sort of
blank slate into which a user would load his preferred crypto software. Now
we have a generic product which can be sold over the counter without
prescription, as it were.