[OT] more from Cryptome on NSA, Windows firewals, mail services

Eugene Y. Vasserman eyv at cs.umn.edu
Thu Jan 3 02:42:48 UTC 2008

Hash: SHA256

Thus spake Ringo Kamens, on 1/2/2008 4:17 PM:
> Also, see http://www.schneier.com/essay-198.html
> And yeah, I was talking about the NSA key.

Personally (and god help me), I believe Microsoft when they say the key
is not a key back door key. If it was, I wonder if they would name it
"NSA". Or is that what they want us to think? :)
The Schneier essay about the random number generator is more
interesting, and worth reading.


> Comrade Ringo Kamens
> On Jan 2, 2008 4:24 PM, Nick Mathewson < nickm at freehaven.net
> <mailto:nickm at freehaven.net>> wrote:
>     On Wed, Jan 02, 2008 at 02:47:11PM -0600, Eugene Y. Vasserman wrote:
>     > Thus spake Ringo Kamens on Sun, 23 Dec 2007:
>     >
>     > (snip)
>     > >    Also, we know the NSA and DoJ have engaged in
>     > >    this type of activity in the past such as "working" with
>     Microsoft to
>     > >    secure vista and having their private key inserted into windows
>     > >    versions so they could decrypt things.
>     >
>     > I've heard of the Vista bit, but what are you referring to, as far as
>     > having a decryption key for Windows stuff? I know they had one in...
>     > What was it? Lotus Notes?
>     He's probably referring to the "NSAKey" key in NT 4.  For more
>     information, see
>       http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nsakey
>     It's a secondary code-signing key, allegedy to be used if their
>     primary code signing key needed to be revoked.
>     If you believe Microsoft, the key was called "_NSAKEY" because it was
>     introduced in order to meet NSA requirements for a secondary key.
>     Naming things after the software or organization that requires them,
>     rather than after their actual purpose, is not unusual for Microsoft:
>     Their office XML spec is littered with stuff like the notorious
>     AutoSpaceLikeWord95.
>     Personally, I don't believe that contemporary operating systems are so
>     secure that the NSA would rather have security holes custom-built for
>     it instead of just using the ones that are already there.
>     peace,
>     --
>     Nick

- --
Eugene Y. Vasserman
Ph.D. Candidate, University of Minnesota
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