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Re: Are 2048-bit pgp keys really secure ?
> A somewhat disturbing trend has appeared in the low-end cost-sensitive PC
> SIMM market. Some supposedly 9-bit SIMMs are actually 8-bit SIMMs plus
> a parity generator. This means that the parity checking is essentially
> subverted, because the parity bit is generated from the stored contents
> of memory at read time, rather than the stored contents when it was
> written to. As such, NO bit errors are detected.
So why not do a cheap trick:
After the small primes check calculate a CRC checksum over the number.
Then do the primality check. If it is a prime, store it together with
the CRC. The CRC can be checked for every use of the number.
(PGP encrypts the secret key and therefore it generates a CRC for the
encrypted packet. But this CRC is generate after the primality check.)
We already had some SIMM modules with bit errors. They were detected by
a parity check. If cheap pc simms don't have a real parity bit, the probability
of having such a bug isn't as low as 10^-40. If cheap parity-less simms
are available they get sold (cheap and expensive).
BTW: Some weeks ago they found motherbords with falsified cache rams:
They had just the normal DIL-ICs and the normal pins, but the plastic of
the ICs didn't contain a chip. The BIOS was modified to give out a message
about a good cache ram check at boot time.