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Re: Vinge on PKE ?

> [email protected] (Lou Poppler) writes:
> important postings.  Some time ago it was asked why Vernor Vinge
> made passing reference to humans' naivete in trusting public key
> encryption, and some posters were seeking to contact professor

I don't recall the conversation, but it could refer to his recent novel
"A Fire Upon the Deep."  Our galaxy is divided into a number of zones where
computation can be easier or harder than in the particular section where
the Earth hangs out.  The fastest zones have computational ability so far
beyond what's physically possible in our zone that we don't understand it.

In this situation you can't trust your security to merely computationally
difficult problems like factoring large numbers: the denizens of the faster
zones could crack them faster than slower communicators could enumerate them.

The protagonists spent a fair amount of time on a courier ship that was
carrying as its cargo 1/3 of a one-time-pad, which was intended to get
to the buyer and be XORed with the other two pieces.  This was a valuable
cargo.  After it became clear that this 1/3 was potentially compromised it
was used for some important but less provably reliable communications.

	Jim Gillogly
	Trewesday, 15 Solmath S.R. 1995, 01:49