gang uses crypto to hide identity theft databases

Alex Alten alex at
Fri Dec 22 13:57:17 EST 2006

I'm curious as to why the cops didn't just pull the plugs right away.  It 
would probably
take a while (minutes, hours?) to encrypt any significant amount of 
data.  Not to
mention, where is the master key? The guy couldn't have jumped up and typed
in a pass phrase to generate it in handcuffs? Even if it got erased, it's 
image could
be recovered from a disk or RAM.  My understanding is that even tamperproof 
one can get keys from them with the right equipment from the right folks.

- Alex

At 02:51 AM 12/23/2006 +1300, Peter Gutmann wrote:
>Jim Gellman <jim at> writes:
> >Well this just sucks if you ask me.
> >> According to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which confirmed that
> >> Kostap had activated the encryption after being arrested, it would
> >> have taken 400 computers twelve years to crack the code.
> >Scales linearly, right?  4,800 computers'll get it in a year?
>I don't think you can even apply that much analysis to it.  How exactly did
>they come up with such a figure in the first place?  400 *what* computers?
>TRS-80's?  Cray XT4's?  Does the encryption software come with a disclaimer
>saying "if you forget your password, it'll take 400 computers 12 years to
>recover your data"?  With that level of CPU power it sounds like it'd
>something at the level of brute-forcing a 56-bit DES key (using a software-
>only approach), which sounds like an odd algorithm to use if it's current
>crypto software.  It sounds more like a quote for the media (or, more likely,
>misreporting) than any real estimate of the effort involved.
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Alex Alten
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