This one is from the Netherlands. It seems to be clever cryptanalysis rather than a backdoor.
The Dutch intelligence service has been able to read encrypted communications from dozens of countries since the late 1970s thanks to a microchip, according to research by de Volkskrant on Thursday. The Netherlands could eavesdrop on confidential communication from countries such as Iran, Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
Philips, together with Siemens, built an encryption machine in the late 1970s. The device, the Aroflex, was used for secret communication between NATO allies. In addition, the companies also wanted to market the T1000CA, a commercial variant of the Aroflex with less strong cryptography.
The Volkskrant investigation shows that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Marine Intelligence Service (MARID) cracked the cryptography of this device before it was launched. Philips helped the ministry and the intelligence service.
Normally it would take at least a month and a half to crack the T1000CA encryption. “Too long to get useful information from intercepted communication,” the newspaper writes. But MARID employees, together with Philips, succeeded in accelerating this 2.500 times by developing a special microchip.
The T1000CA was then sold to numerous non-NATO countries, including the Middle East and Asia. These countries could then be overheard by the Dutch intelligence services for years.
The 1970s was a decade of really bad commercial cryptography. DES, in 1975, was an improvement with its 56-bit key. I’m sure there are lots of these stories.
Here’s more about the Aroflex. And here’s what I think is the original Dutch story.
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‘Fiercely immersive. Truly heroic.’ Tom Marcus, bestselling author of Soldier Spy.
‘Vivid and brilliantly written: a pulsating account of the battle for Musa Qala, the Rorke’s Drift of our times.’ Martin Bell, OBE, war reporter.In Helmand province in July 2006, Major Adam Jowett was given command of Easy Company, a hastily assembled and under-strength unit of Paras and Royal Irish rangers. Their mission was to hold the District Centre of Musa Qala at any cost. Easy Company found t
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This true horror story (or better say a short detective story) came from one of the subscribers and I changed the name to protect his identity. I find this true detective story to be amazing (this kid is so smart) and scary at the same time! Let me know in the comments your thoughts on this true story!
Hello, everyone, my name is Ned and I’m a nerd. Okay-okay, I know that’s not funny, but I’m about to tell you a story that still puts a knot in my stomach to this day, so just give me this, okay?
When I say I’m a nerd, what I actually mean is that I’m really good with computers. And not just your regular “confident user” either. I’ve been writing codes since I was 13, and after 4 years, I’ve gotten pretty good at it…too good actually. Before all this went down, I’d been working on a little project that wasn’t exactly legal. It was a program that allows you to hack other peoples’ phones. I didn’t really plan on using it against anyone, I just love a good challenge. And if this challenge would allow me to mess with some popular kids’ phones, then that’s just a nice bonus. I finished this program about a month ago and decided to give it a test run in detention. Hey, I said I was a nerd, not a goody two-shoes.
There were only four other students in the classroom. The teacher was gone for the most part, so I felt pretty safe trying my new program. I sat at the back of the room and turned on my laptop.
I’m not gonna bore you with the details of how it worked exactly (plus, I’m a little concerned that I’d get in trouble for revealing the principles of, well, let’s just call it what it is, my illegal spying program. But it was a success! I managed to collect data from all the phones that were connected to our school’s Wi-Fi and located within a 50-foot radius. I couldn’t believe it!
I decided to look through the data I’d collected. The main reason I wanted to do that was… am I gonna sound like I creep if I admit that my crush just happened to be in this classroom as well and I wanted to go through her photos? I know it was so wrong, but I just couldn’t resist! I was hoping to see some cute selfies and definitely dreading seeing any pictures with a boyfriend I didn’t know she had. Plus, I already invaded all the other students’ privacy, so I thought, “Eh, might as well…”
But as soon as I started looking through all the images, I immediately forgot about everything. Amongst all the pictures (most of which were shots of homework or class notes that students always exchange), I saw tons of one girl’s photos – Jacky, a girl from our school that was announced missing about a week ago. At first, there were just regular pictures that she’d posted on her social media pages. That itself was kinda weird – why would someone download all her photos? But as I went through more images, my face went pale. There were pictures of her tied up, sitting in some sort of creepy basement with her mouth taped and her eyes filled with horror and tears. Her face was beaten up, and there were bruises all over her body.
The window behind me clapped, and I almost jumped out of my seat. My hands were shaking. One thought was going through my mind: “Someone in here did this! Someone who’s sitting amongst us right now kidnapped this girl and is holding her hostage!” I looked around and saw four regular teens – none of them seemed even slightly dangerous. My crush Stella and her friend Brittany were there. Then there was one of our school jocks – Brad, famous for his nasty temper and incessant bullying. And finally, there was Ben – a quiet artsy introvert who was constantly drawing something and barely talked to anyone.
I sat there, frozen, looking around at a seemingly typical detention class knowing it was anything but. I had no idea what to do. “Do I tell the principal? Do I call the police?” I knew that was the obvious thing to do, but… I was scared. They’d find out I broke the law and send me to jail. Plus, what if Jacky was already dead? What if the police would think that I killed her and was just trying to pin it on someone else? I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I….
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