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Re: Photuris Primality verification needed

> Well, since we already require 56-bit DES in ESP in the interests of
> promoting basic interoperability, wouldn't a 512-bit prime be
> similarly sufficient?

*NO*, because you have to break the 56-bit DES separately every time,
whereas doing the precomputation for the 512 bit prime is a one-time
job.  Once anyone has done the precomputation, *all* communications
will be open to whoever is in possession of the database.

I think there is good reason to believe that if the 512 bit prime is
allowed, it will be widely used, and even if it is found breakable, it
will not be easily changed (just think about the experience with Sun's
"secure" rpc, and how quickly their primes have been changed - and it
still has much narrower deployment than what is hoped for ipsec).

Let me include below a message I sent to Bill Simpson.  

> If it is kept, the commercial vendors will probably start using it
> as default because it is faster than the others, and the state
> department will pressure them to do so.  Then we are again left with
> too weak aprotections (in other words, pseudo-security which makes
> people believe they have protection, when they actually don't).
> After the precomputation, it is apparently cheap enough to crack the
> exchange that it can be done on a mass scale to all exchanges
> between a very large number of hosts.  I find this very harmful, as
> it again provides no protection against mass surveillance.  We are
> already too close to an Orwellian society.

The remarks there apply equally well to organized criminals, large
corporations, and hostile governments.  Or, suppose some group manages
to get access to enough idle time, computes the database, and posts it
on the Internet.  I for one would be willing to contribute CPU time on
machines where I have access to help such a group, because I think it
is better that it is widely known and publicized when there is little
security and privacy.

Including the provision for the 512 bit prime is *HARMFUL* and
*DANGEROUS*.  Export control is not really an issue here, because if
companies in the United States cannot provide secure networking,
there are other companies in the world that can.

    Tatu Ylonen <[email protected]>