[Cryptography] NSA versus DES etc....
dave at horsfall.org
Fri Oct 3 01:14:41 EDT 2014
On Thu, 2 Oct 2014, Jerry Leichter wrote:
> A friend (Martin Minow, in case anyone here remembers him) years ago
> told me a story he heard in Sweden. The rivers and bays along the
> Swedish coast are extremely tricky to navigate, being full of underwater
> canyons and ridges. For many years, the maps of some of the major ports
> were considered to be essential state secrets, a means of defense
> against (mainly Soviet) naval attack. If you wanted to sail into one of
> these harbors, you had best get a Swedish pilot, who had access to the
> maps but would ban you from watching while he used them.
And didn't the Swedes find a Russian sub in their waters some years back?
> One day, a number of Soviet vessels arrived for some kind of political
> port visit. The Soviets had always asked for Swedish pilots in the past
> - but for some reason this time they went ahead and sailed up river at
> speed, easily navigating around the not-quite-so-secret underwater
I'm guessing that the Russians had been mapping the waters for years with
their sonar; see above about a sub being caught.
> This was certainly a decision made at a high level in the Soviet Navy,
> if not at political levels, though as far as I know, exactly *why* they
> chose to do it has never been explained.
To show that they could? The old aphorism about locking a flimsy front
door springs to mind.
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