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Re: What the NSA is patenting

On Fri, 6 Sep 1996 14:03:43 -0700, Timothy C. May wrote:

>>A maybe usefull program would be a little tsr that constantly
>>overwrite unused sectors of the entire drive with random patterns
>>(maybe seeded with a fast keyboard interval timer).  Like at the very
>>moment I am writing this, my HD has been idle for several minutes...

>The NSA STM method is related to reading _very subtle_ variations in
>magnetic domain modifications. Jitter in read-write head positions can be
>thought of as a noise (N) added to some signal (S)l. Extraction of signals
>in low S/N ration environments is a well-developed science.
>Not to start another round of "thermite bomb" posts, but I would not trust
>n-pass erasures.

It's still likely that if you left it running after a month or so it would be
next to impossible to do (assuming the NSA didn't get lucky - you still have to

>Of course, this is about the least of my concerns. If the Feds are planning
>to use STM probes on your seized drives, you've got more serious problems.

Such as asking why you didn't use some very strong crypto software?  Work out
some sort of parallel port dongle that could be connected, the software
generates a random key, the parallel port device is written and then removed.
Further access would involve connecting.  The code & chips needed have been
provided in many places; DDJ for one.  Allows a very convincing "Well it was
encrypted and your goon stepped on the key!"

>(The oft-discussed possibility of more secure dongles, or secret decoder
>rings. is still off in the future. Most of us just enter our various
>passwords, and our local disk drives reveal all.)

This is too true.

- "'Anonymity is bad,' says a source who wishes to remain anonymous." - Nuff' said.
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