Quoting Matthew French (mfrench42 at yahoo.co.uk):
> I thought that until I read Cliff Stoll's "The Cuckoo's Egg". At some
> point near the end of the story he mentions how a character from the
> NSA pulls out a couple of cracking tools that made a mockery of
> allegedly secure systems.
Yeah, I'm so glad the spook community are so good at countering the bad
guys. It obviously works so well.
I figure the Never Say Anything guys may occasionally enjoy a five year
lead. This is based on J.H. Ellis of GCHQ inventing public-key
cryptography behind closed doors in 1970-71 -- rediscovered
independently in 1976 by Whitfield Diffie and Martin Hellman. Not that
the spooks were (by available accounts) able to exploit their five-year
monopoly to any effect.
The computer science, maths, and engineering exploited by intelligence
agencies doesn't come out of nowhere. And even when a breakthrough
occurs only behind closed doors, it'll be rediscovered by the scientific
community through obvious means of inquiry along the same lines -- much
more quickly than the spooks would like.
Cheers, "That article and its poster have been cancelled."
Rick Moen -- David B. O'Donnel, sysadmin for America Online
rick at linuxmafia.com
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