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Path: transfer.stratus.com!ellisun.sw.stratus.com!cme
From: [email protected] (Carl Ellison)
Newsgroups: sci.crypt
Subject: Skipjack review as a side-track
Date: 2 Aug 1993 21:25:11 GMT
Organization: Stratus Computer, Marlboro MA
Lines: 28
Message-ID: <[email protected]>
NNTP-Posting-Host: ellisun.sw.stratus.com

It amuses the gallows-humor bone in me to see people busily debating the
quality of Skipjack as an algorithm and the quality of the review of its

Someone proposes to dangle you over the Grand Canyon using

	sewing thread
tied to
	steel chain
tied to
	knitting yarn

and you're debating whether the steel chain has been X-rayed properly
to see if there are flaws in the metal.

Key generation, chip fabrication, court orders, distribution of keys once
acquired from escrow agencies and safety of keys within escrow agencies are
some of the real weaknesses.  Once those are as strong as my use of
1024-bit RSA and truly random session keys in keeping keys on the two sides
of a conversation with no one in the middle able to get the key, then we
need to look at the steel chain in the middle: Skipjack itself.

 - <<Disclaimer: All opinions expressed are my own, of course.>>
 - Carl Ellison                                        [email protected]
 - Stratus Computer Inc.       M3-2-BKW                TEL: (508)460-2783
 - 55 Fairbanks Boulevard ; Marlborough MA 01752-1298  FAX: (508)624-7488