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Comment: The problem... (Score 1) 68

by ameline (#46671647) Attached to: CryptoPhone Sales Jump To 100,000+, Even at $3500

With something like RedPhone is that there are multiple CPUs on the phone -- in particular, the base-band is a full ARM chip with complete access to all ram on the device. And the software running there is almost never under the users control. So it doesn't matter how good red-phone is -- if it ever leaks *any* plaintext or key bits out to ram, or across any wires outside the cpu it's running on, the baseband chip and the software running on it can wiretap you. And even if those things never leak off the main cpu die, the baseband can probably inject processes/instructions into that main chip's address space that would steal those critical key bits.

Unless you have control over *all* the firmware running on *all* the processors in a phone, I wouldn't trust it any farther than I can comfortably spit out a rat.

(and this is not accounting for hardware tricks -- I think you cannot trust your communications are secure unless you trust everyone involved in its design, manufacture and programming (including the compiler and related toolchain, and its compiler and toolchain -- and so on ad-infinitum) -- and that is probably a *very* sizable list indeed -- the odds that some lettered agency (looking at *you* cse/csis, nsa, gchq, fsb, etc) have not corrupted *someone* on that large list are so small that only god/fsm could tell the difference between it and 0.)

Comment: Should be plenty of sources for entropy (Score 1) 143

by ameline (#46486159) Attached to: Weak Apple PRNG Threatens iOS Exploit Mitigations

Take a shot from each camera, sample each microphone for a few milliseconds, Sample the gyros and accelerometers for a few milliseconds. Sample the current battery voltage/charge state, Salt in the current time/date and last known location, along with the various readable serial numbers, SHA each of these sources and fold them into each other and SHA the result, and you should be good to go.

Once the device is booted, it can do a lengthy and more sophisticated RNG to make a seed that will be folded into the above entropy sources on the next boot.

But it does sound like apple should put in a good hardware entropy source on their A8 (and future) chips. (One with no NSA/CSEC/GCHQ/KGB/FSB backdoors please!)

That can also be folded into the above sources (I think you would never want to rely on only one source of entropy, no matter how good or trusted.)

Comment: I'll buy one when... (Score 2) 236

by ameline (#46348869) Attached to: Tesla Used A Third of All Electric-Car Batteries Last Year
I'll buy one when I can get a consistently reliable 500 mile range (at -20 degrees C exterior temperature, +20 interior, with headlights on too) out of it. Recharge at 40 to 60A (230V) at home is acceptable. That likely means a 200 kwh battery pack. So about 2.5x increase in energy density over what we have now. This will probably be available in the next 10 years. The advantages of electric given this sort of range will all but kill other powertrains for most cars. Those advantages will easily pay for a battery swapout every 5 years or so.

Comment: Re:That's unfortunate (Score 2) 430

by ameline (#45869941) Attached to: Cairo 2D Graphics May Become Part of ISO C++

Why are all the insightful posts in this thread being modded "funny"?

C++ is *way* too big a language already. It's got the PL/1 problem (yeah, get off my lawn) -- when everyone only understands 0.8 of your language (or some amount under 1.0) it winds up being a different 0.8 for everyone. And this means that virtually any programmer will write code that is unreadable to another. (and if there is one thing that over 25 years of programming has taught me is that code readability trumps almost everything else).

Interestingly enough, IBM created PL.8 (an 80% subset of PL/1) for internal use. The original XL compiler back-end for RS6000/PPC was written in PL.8

/ Really -- my lawn -- get off of it!

Comment: They should be much more paranoid. (Score 5, Interesting) 153

by ameline (#45445271) Attached to: How Big Companies Can Hamper the Surveillance Infrastructure

They aren't getting *nearly* paranoid enough. They should be encrypting the data on disk, on network connections between machines in the *same* data center, not just between centers. In fact the data should remain encrypted at all times unless absolutely necessary to have in clear-text to process it -- and that should never leave the CPU. It should remain clear-text only for the absolutely minimum time required.

They should assume that hostile agencies (foreign *and* domestic) have tapped every last network link they own. As well as most routers and processing machines. They should also assume that some small percentage of their workforce are working on behalf of one of these adversaries. Given these assumptions they should design a system that can remain as secure as possible given these circumstances.

Merely encrypting the network links between their data centers is not nearly enough to thwart the likes of the NSA, CSEC, GCHQ or other nameless agencies.

Comment: Is this where I get to feel smug? (Score 1) 228

by ameline (#45120581) Attached to: D-Link Router Backdoor Vulnerability Allows Full Access To Settings
Apple's AirPort line of routers is one of the few consumer grade families of network gear that are not abandonware -- updates are provided fairly regularly. I believe that under the covers they're running VxWorks with a custom IP stack from Apple. As far as I know, there are no back-doors or security problems with them. (I would not be at all surprised to find out that the NSA has infiltrated one -- they are designed and the firware is written in the USA.) I've been using them for years -- they're very reliable -- never need to be rebooted, and they perform well. Yes, they cost a little more, but then it looks like you get what you pay for. -- Ian.

At these prices, I lose money -- but I make it up in volume. -- Peter G. Alaquon

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