gang uses crypto to hide identity theft databases

David I. Emery die at
Sat Dec 23 00:09:58 EST 2006

On Fri, Dec 22, 2006 at 10:57:17AM -0800, Alex Alten wrote:
> 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.

	At the risk of stating the obvious, this is almost certainly
a case of key zeroization rather than suddenly encrypting otherwise
in-the-clear databases.

	What one does is ALWAYS encrypt all the data, but store only
one single copy of the key(s) required to decrypt it and make provision
for some kind of dead man switch that zeroizes the key store when 
pushed.   Shutting off the power leaves almost all of the data intact
and unaltered, but without the keys it is just random bits.

	Special switches and hardware assistance for key zeroization are
a very standard feature of US government crypto gear and installations.
The idea is that one zeros the key if one is expecting to be captured
(or crash or sink) and then all the remaining data in non volatile 
storage is useless to your adversary if he is able to recover the
media and attempt to read it.

   Dave Emery N1PRE,  die at  DIE Consulting, Weston, Mass 02493
"An empty zombie mind with a forlorn barely readable weatherbeaten
'For Rent' sign still vainly flapping outside on the weed encrusted pole - in 
celebration of what could have been, but wasn't and is not to be now either."

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