Excerpts from Netsurfer Digest: Vol. 00, #24 (TEXT)
Date: Wed, 12 Oct 94 17:02:12 PDT
Subject: Excerpts from Netsurfer Digest: Vol. 00, #24 (TEXT)
Latest news from the online frontier
RSA SECRET ENCRYPTION ALGORITHM POSTED TO THE NET
The source code to the trade secret RC4 algorithm used by RSA Data
Security in their encryption products showed up on USENET recently.
Inevitable really, if you think about it. The folks at RSA, who hold
key patents in public key encryption, are in a snit while hackers
rejoice and the FBI nearly wets itself with excitement over the
possibility of increased anti-hacker funding. Follow it all on
sci.crypt in the thread "RC4 Algorithm revealed" and others with the
words RC4 or RSADSI in them. The bulk of the discussion seems to be
about whether the code was legally reconstructed or stolen, and what
will happen to you if you use it. Several posters have already
implemented improvements to the posted code to make it run faster and
PKZIP ENCRYPTION BROKEN USING KNOWN PLAINTEXT
As long as we're talking encryption, it seems that the encryption
feature of PKZIP, the popular compression program, apparently can be
broken using information about the contents of a file (not that hard
to come by, actually). A good discussion of the issues and limitations
of this method can be found on sci.crypt under the thread "PKZIP
encryption 'contest' password recovered."
CONGRESS PASSES PHONE BUGGING BILL
On Friday the Senate, by "unanimous consent" and despite vigorous
lobbying and expressions of loathing from private individuals aware of
the legislation, passed a bill (S 2375) mandating that every phone
exchange in the U.S. must contain a back door allowing law enforcment
to bug traffic passing through that equipment. The house has passed a
similar bill (HR 4922) just days earlier. President Clinton is
expected to sign the law which places the power to regulate the
implementation of this legislation in the hands of the FCC. A sad day
for the privacy of U.S. citizens. Tune into alt.privacy or check out
WORLD WIDE WEB PAGES NOW OBTAINABLE BY E-MAIL
Those prolific folks at CERN have created yet another great World-Wide
-Web service. Simply send an E-Mail message to "firstname.lastname@example.org"
and include the URL of the Web page you want in the body of the
message. In the blink of a cybereye (or maybe in a matter of days, you
never know anymore) the requested page will show up in your mailbox.
This means anyone with just an E-Mail connection - like people on
Prodigy, AOL, or CompuServe - can now read Web pages. The audience for
WWW materials has just jumped by a few million.
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