[Cryptography] Massive CIA communications compromise starting in 2008

John Ioannidis ji at tla.org
Wed Nov 7 10:47:54 EST 2018

On Sun, Nov 4, 2018 at 4:29 PM Arnold Reinhold via cryptography <
cryptography at metzdowd.com> wrote:
> Well, that is indeed the question. It’s not uncommon in bureaucracies,
where it is much easier to fire someone than it is to admit you are
completely screwed. One of my favorite books, Leo Marks’ "Between Silk and
Cyanide," deals with a similar situation in WW II, though the author
manages not to get fired by knowing when to shut up. Many OSS agents sent
into the Netherlands were captured and executed because managers refused to
believe their network was compromised even though prearranged signals, in
the form of specific message mistakes, were detected by Marks.

That is indeed an amazing book.

The other side was just as stubborn. Dönitz was convinced the allies had
cracked Enigma, but the rest of the brass refused to believe that their
technology was vulnerable (part of the vulnerability was, of course, bad
opsec, as everyone in this list already knows).

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