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Comment Re:Either Ben or Stapleton is missing something (Score 2) 51

Bruce Scheneir wrote in his latest newsletter: The NSA is Not Made of Magic Details of his below...but the point is...there is no conspiracy...DES worked when it was long enough. I am regularly asked what is the most surprising thing about the Snowden NSA documents. It's this: the NSA is not made of magic. Its tools are no different from what we have in our world, it's just better-funded. X-KEYSCORE is Bro plus memory. FOXACID is Metasploit with a budget. QUANTUM is AirPwn with a seriously privileged position on the backbone. The NSA breaks crypto not with super-secret cryptanalysis, but by using standard hacking tricks such as exploiting weak implementations and default keys. Its TAO implants are straightforward enhancements of attack tools developed by researchers, academics, and hackers; you can buy a computer the size of a grain of rice, if you want to make your own such tools. The NSA's collection and analysis tools are basically what you'd expect if you thought about it for a while. That, fundamentally, is surprising. If you gave a super-secret Internet exploitation organization $10 billion annually, you'd expect some magic. And my guess is that there is some, around the edges, that has not become public yet. But that we haven't seen any yet is cause for optimism.

No problem is so formidable that you can't just walk away from it. -- C. Schulz