1993-10-12 - Re: RSA Security

Header Data

From: “Robert J. Woodhead” <trebor@foretune.co.jp>
To: nobody@rosebud.ee.uh.edu
Message Hash: aebd8d0b1fd4b764a8734c9dc2c9c6a3452c0d99a7e6523e42483fdd7868df72
Message ID: <9310120254.AA25692@dink.foretune.co.jp>
Reply To: <9310111927.AA16653@toad.com>
UTC Datetime: 1993-10-12 02:56:25 UTC
Raw Date: Mon, 11 Oct 93 19:56:25 PDT

Raw message

From: "Robert J. Woodhead" <trebor@foretune.co.jp>
Date: Mon, 11 Oct 93 19:56:25 PDT
To: nobody@rosebud.ee.uh.edu
Subject: Re: RSA Security
In-Reply-To: <9310111927.AA16653@toad.com>
Message-ID: <9310120254.AA25692@dink.foretune.co.jp>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

You write:

>I would probably go to the government or some company (quietly)
>and say to them: "For X dollars each, I will break RSA keys for you."

You are very naive.  Your secret would be very valuable, and there
would be great incentive for an unscrupulous customer to get the
secret from you.

Put yourself in the position of DIRNSA.  He is most likely an honorable
person who wouldn't think of torturing the information out of you (and
I'm not just saying that because the NSA is most likely reading this
list -- most people in government are honorable).  However, he has a

1) Secrets leak - and sooner or later, someone who would stoop to nasty
methods will find out about you.

2) He is responsible for protecting the country against certain threats.
You are, in a sense, a threat -- because you might unintentionally do
something really stupid with your knowledge.

He must now balance your rights in our society vs. his responsibility
to protect it.  It is a difficult situation.  I think the best you
could hope for is to sell the secret to them and be made a job offer
you can't refuse.

If you figure out a cheap way to factor, I would advise you to publish
it as widely as possible, most likely via multiple postings to multiple
newsgroups on the net.  As people are going to be very interested in
your identity, I suggest you do it anonymously.  VERY anonymously.

Spookily yours,
Robert "reads too many spy novels" Woodhead