1994-06-27 - Re: Is the NSA really competent?

Header Data

From: Patrick Juola <juola@suod.cs.colorado.edu>
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Message Hash: 9ddf8c23cd43343931d2b822ee2c39563ad74fa62d0615402692af16d2c73a66
Message ID: <199406271413.IAA17450@suod.cs.colorado.edu>
Reply To: N/A
UTC Datetime: 1994-06-27 14:13:32 UTC
Raw Date: Mon, 27 Jun 94 07:13:32 PDT

Raw message

From: Patrick Juola <juola@suod.cs.colorado.edu>
Date: Mon, 27 Jun 94 07:13:32 PDT
To: cypherpunks@toad.com
Subject: Re: Is the NSA really competent?
Message-ID: <199406271413.IAA17450@suod.cs.colorado.edu>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

  Here are the biggest breakthroughs in cryptography during the period
  when the NSA has been the purported leader in the field, and 
  has enjoyed by far the largest budget:
  [ list of major breakthroughs deleted. ]
  For all their vaunted competence, for all the mathematicians
  they have been alleged to employ, despite having a cryptography
  budget orders of magnitude larger than any other Western
  crypto group, it looks like the NSA contribued to _none_ of 
  the major advances in cryptography that occured during its zenith.

My understanding is that we don't *know* what NSA actually has found.
For example, *someone* knew about differential cryptanalysis long before
Adi Shamir rediscovered it, as the DES S-boxes are optimized against it.
Similarly, they may have discovered public-key encryption fifty years
ago and simply not bothered to patent/publish it....

	- Patrick

p.s.  Any other cypherpunks heading to ACL this week?  If so, look
me up (Patrick Juola, U. of Colorado) and we can go grab a brew or
something and discuss the state of the world.... pmj