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Re: (fwd) Re: NSA Helped Yeltsin Foil 1991 Coup

> From: [email protected] (Allen J. Baum)
> > If the story is
> >true, it means that the NSA can break some classes of conventional
> >cryptosystems very fast -- fast enough to be of use in this case, for
> >instance.
> Well, you are assuming that the coup plotters, who seem to be a fairly
> incompetent bunch of conspirators, were using high security
> communications, etc.

One should also consider that there are rather intense rivalries between
between the KGB and the GRU and various military branches in the FUSSR;
intrigue and paranoia seems to be the norm among these groups, so if
someone is planning a coup in the FUSSR (something that earns one a rather
swift 7.62mm hole in the skull over there...) other considerations come
into play.  The plotters might have thought that it was less of a risk to
use cryptographicaly unsecure channels (or methods that they knew the other
FUSSR agencies were not using) on the assumption that the US would not get
involved than to use the standard methods and run the risk of a code clerk
or some other person running off and warning Gorby...  

Additionally the "who is involved" type of info mentioned can also be
gained from traffic analysis without necessarily compromising a particular
code method, so unless the actual input data the NSA had to work with is
known a blanket assumption they can crack modern codes is not necessarily
needed for this report to be true...