Russia Intercepts US Military Communications?

dave dave at
Mon Mar 31 20:42:38 EST 2003

Well I am sure most of you would be amazed and/or flabbergasted with how the
"crypto" keys are handed out for the different avionics/communication
devices on a daily basis. You will know if you forgot one of them like when
you pass over a hawk missile sight at the edge of base, and they lock on and
start tracking you.  Notice I said "daily" basis.  Might give a hint to how
they "ran out".


Dave Kleiman
dave at


-----Original Message-----
From: owner-cryptography at
[mailto:owner-cryptography at] On Behalf Of Peter Wayner
Sent: Monday, March 31, 2003 13:18
To: reusch; cryptography at
Subject: Re: Russia Intercepts US Military Communications?

At 7:38 PM -0500 3/30/03, reusch wrote:
>Via the Cryptome,, "RU sure", look

I showed this link to a friend who fixes helicopters for the 
Army/Marines. He was incredulous at first, but then said, "Oh, they 
probably just turned off the crypto. There's a switch to do that. 
Sometimes you have to do that if things screw up."

He went on to talk about "crypto" as if it was something like fuel or 
food. He said, "They probably loaded up 4 or 5 days of crypto at the 
beginning, but then they had to turn it off after the supply lines 
got muddled."

So this would be consistent with some key management structures but 
not with others. If you give a unit a good random number source and 
diffie-hellman, they should be able to go the entire war without 
running out of "crypto." But I don't know if the US military embraces 
the kind of hierarchy-free key management imagined by cypherpunks.

Of course, many of the details from the Russian could be gathered 
from raw traffic analysis. It's easy to count messages and 
triangulate to figure out where US troops are massing. It's also easy 
to tell that an absence of messages from the interior of the city 
means that the US troops haven't entered yet. The crypto may cloak 
the details of the messages, but those details may not be too 
important. (I wouldn't be surprised if they carried some news of the 
NCAA basketball tournament, for instance.)


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