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Re: Seals and Sealing Waxes



Message-Id: <[email protected]>

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> "All crypto is economics," and this is what made seals and sealing wax so
> useful for so long. Saying "seals were duplicatable from the start" does
> not mean this feat was easy, even if technically possible.
> 
> In fact, the fine details produced by a good seal are hard to exactly
> emulate with a copy. Even on a two-dimensional surface. And with the advent
> of three-dimensional surfaces, which sealing wax made possible, the fine
> detail of a good seal was in fact very hard to forge.

But not impossible.  According to Kahn, the Austrian Black Chamber was
quite adept at forging seals in the late 1600's / early 1700's.  They
were able to take sealed correspondence in at 7 a.m., unseal it, copy the
message, re-seal it, and have it back in the postal stream by early
afternoon.  There was only one recorded case of them re-sealing a message
with the wrong seal, and that was because the seals were so similar.

All this is from memory, since I don't have my copy of _The Codebreakers_
here at work, so I may be off in some details.

Ken

= Ken Kirksey            And the Clinton administration launched an attack on =
= [email protected]  people in Texas because those people were religious =
= Mac Guru & Developer    nuts with guns.  Hell, this country was founded by  =
=                         religious nuts with guns.           - P.J. O'Rourke =

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