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Cypherpunks Admissions Test

Due to the large number of new subscribers, cryptogroupies, journalists, and
conspiracy freaks currently posting to Cypherpunks, it has become necessary
to restrict posting privileges on the list.  If you are contemplating a
post to [email protected], please take the following test FIRST to
determine if your knowledge of cryptography and cypherpunk methodology is
sufficient to allow your participation.

Simply pick the BEST answer to EACH question.  Scoring information is
provided at the end of the test.

1)  The "Cyphernomicon" is:

	a)  Tim May's >1mb rant on the social and technical possibilities
	    of the general adoption of strong crypto.
	b)  the cypherpunk FAQ.
	d)  the 'bible' of H.P.Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos. 
	d)  an ancient codebook once used by Julius Caesar.

2)  N.S.A stands for:

	a)  restricting the spread of strong crypto so they can spy on us
	    and keep their jobs.
	b)  No Such Agency or Not Saying Anything, I forget which.
	c)  the National Security Agency.
	d)  aren't they running the space program or something?

3)  If I wanted to keep my kid sister from reading my love letters, I'd:

	a)  encrypt them all with 128 bit key IDEA, keep them in a hidden
	    directory on an encrypted partition, keep a separate MD5 hash
	    for each one, put a firewall between the disk and the rest
            of my system, and then ...
	b)  use DES, cause it's already on my system.
	c)  use ROT 26 (TWICE as good as ROT 13, right?).
	d)  ite-wray em-thay in-ay ig-pay atin-lay.

4)  A good source of random numbers is:

	a)  radioactive decay interrupting a micro clock with a secure hash.
	b)  random mouse movements.
	c)  the system time, and the PID and PPID.
	d)  the state lottery.

5)  "Mod" stands for:

	a)  modulo.
	b)  "clock" arithmetic.
	c)  a weird kind of math that cypherpunks use to keep newbies
	d)  New, hip, cool.

6)   A "Certificate of Authority" is:

	a)  a type of identification that brings up all sorts of interesting
	    questions about identity, True Names, anonymity, reputations,
	    and how trustworthy electronic communication is in general.
	b)  a way of avoiding 'man in the middle' attacks.
	c)  a way to make six bucks a pop off everybody on the net.
	d)  something the Franklin Mint sends you with your hand-painted
	    limited edition Star Trek dinner plate.
7)  If Alice wants to send Bob her credit card number over the Internet,
    she should:

	a)  encrypt the file using at least a 2048 bit key, and transmit
	    it over a secure channel with at least application and IP level
	    encryption and authentication.
	b)  use PGP.
	c)  use a secure web server-client.
	d)  warn him ahead of time that she's going to send it backwards.

8)  If Mallet (RIP) needs to get Alice's password, he should:

	a)  hook five hundred computers together over the Internet and brute
	    force the Unix password system.
	b)  run a dictionary attack on /etc/passwd.
	c)  call her and pretend to be a system administrator.
	d)  copy it off the post-it note on her monitor.

9)  The cypherpunk motto, "Cypherpunks write code", means:

	a)  that cypherpunks are actively involved in spreading strong crypto.
	b)  that cypherpunks write programs, or maybe that they encode stuff.
	c)  that the cypherpunks mailing list is really a conspiracy to take
	    over the world, and the messages are really encoded instructions
	    to the various cells on when and where to strike.
	d)  that I can't understand 9/10ths of the things they post.

10)  On the cypherpunk list, the main medium of exchange is:

	a)  e-cash.
	b)  pgp encrypted mail.
	c)  the flame.
	d)  the T-shirt.

11)  A 'hash' is:

	a)  a function that converts an input string to a fixed size output
	b)  a way of generating a 'digital fingerprint' of a file.
	c)  the thingie that the phone company calls a 'pound sign'.
	d)  those strange marks running down the middle of a football field.

12)  The 'munitions' T-shirt is:

	a)  a way to make the government look stupid.
	b)  a possible violation of ITAR.
	c)  a shirt with the RC4 algorithm in perl printed on the front.
	d)  a cool way to pick up intellectual chicks.

13)  ITAR, BTW, is:

	a)  a completely stupid, f*cked up way to try and stop the spread
	    of strong crypto, foisted on the world by the NSA and CIA.
	b)  the government rules restricting the export of munitions, including
	c)  the reason that I can get pgp faster from hacktic.nl than MIT.
	d)  Bob the Paver's motto over at Asphalt-R-Us.

14)  Blowfish is:

	a)  Bruce Schneier's new Feistel network symmetric encryption
	b)  a possible replacement for DES.
	c)  something I ran into in the PGPfone docs.
	d)  a good way to get food poisoning at a sushi bar.

15)  Steganography is:

	a)  the science of hiding messages in other messages.
	b)  a way of hiding information in a .gif of Cindy Crawford.
	c)  a way of hiding a nude .gif of Cindy Crawford in a fully
	    clothed .gif of Cindy Crawford.
	d)  the art of finding the cheat codes in games for the Stega
	    Genesis videogame machine.

16)  If you see a "MAKE MONEY FAST - HERE'S HOW" message, you should:

	a)  mail-bomb the offending idiot back to the abacus age.
	b)  send him several X-rated complaints via anonymous remailer.
	c)  write a polite but firm e-mail to his ISP.
	d)  forward it to cypherpunks and let the experts deal with it.

17)  A 'prime number' is:

	a)  a number evenly divisible by only one and itself.
	b)  a key component of RSA based public key encryption systems.
	c)  a number with particular properties useful in cryptography.
	d)  the blonde with the low-cut "munitions" tank-top at the local
	    espresso bar.

18)  The biggest problem with Chaum's e-cash is:

	a)  it's patented, and Chaum wants an exorbitant amount for licenses.
	b)  it protects Alice's anonymity, but not Bob's.
	c)  it's too complicated for Joe Sixpack to understand and trust.
	d)  all the free porno on the net will be pay-per-view.

19)  If a company releases a crypto product but refuses to release the
     underlying algorithms in order to protect it from attack, it's called:

	a)  snake oil.
	b)  security by obscurity.
	c)  a power one time pad.
	d)  Windows95. 

20)  A good example of a "nym" is:

	a)  Pr0duct Cypher   
	b)  Batman
	c)  Alice d'nonymous
	d)  the girl on the hotbabes IRC channel who turned out to be a guy.

To score your test, simply give yourself 4 points for each a) response, 
3 points for each b), 2 points for each c), and 1 point for each d).
Now add up your point total.  If your score is:

<20 	CLUE-REPELLANT  Try adding up your score again, and this time take
	off your shoes and socks.

20-39	CLUELESS NEWBIE  Read Tim May's "Cyphernomicon", Bruce Schneier's
	"Applied Cryptography", and the last three months archives of the
	cypherpunks mailing list - then take this test again.

40-59   YOU'RE READY  Go ahead and make your first post.  Of course, your
	ass'll get flamed anyway, but what do you care?  You've DONE your

60-79	OLD-TIMER  You've obviously been on the list awhile, so keep on

80	C'mon, Perry, why are you wasting your time on this crap?

Just e-mail this test, and your score, to:

[email protected]

You should be receiving your Cypherpunks Encoder Ring (tm) via e-mail within
three business days.