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Hashing Algorithms

A cryptographic hash function is a mathematical formula or algorithm that creates a one way encryption process. By “one-way”, this means the information that is encrypted by a hash function can not be decrypted. The purpose for using these one-way hashing algorithms is two-fold: to provide a check of integrity to protect some important piece […]

Witness Signatures Add Authenticity

Part of the Apple/FBI court case involves how software updates are protected with digital signatures. The key ensures that the update comes from Apple and therefore has a level of trust associated with the history of the company. The government is not asking Apple to turn over the signing key and Apple is not likely […]

Encryption Ensures Privacy

Encryption techniques are mathematically designed to be uncrackable, at least in an amount of time that relates to the value of the secret. This means the time and computing resources needed to successfully attack the encryption will cost more than the attacker is willing to spend. More computing power means less time. If it takes […]

Hacking an Encrypted Phone

Recent news has the media atwitter with misinformation about hacking phones and encrypted data. Here are some of the basic issues: ENCRYPTION Encryption is the process of using a coding technique to obscure information. Simple substitution techniques like using a number for each letter of the alphabet have been in use for many years. These […]


A bug in the OpenSSL protocol that encrypts and protects our web page logins and passwords has been discovered and was announced on April 7, 2014. Web servers are being patched rapidly to close this hole. But in the meantime, our passwords and other important credentials (certificates and keys) may have been revealed. The vulnerability […]

A Road Made From Silk and Onions

SILK ROAD (of history) The “silk road” of history was a group of trade routes that linked cultures and expanded civilizations by sharing ideas. It got its name from the effort to find good traveling routes for trading silk with China. But once the silk road routes were established, traders carried all manner of goods […]

Cracking the Kryptos Code

In 1990, a sculpture named “Kryptos” (greek – hidden) was dedicated in a courtyard inside the Langley headquarters building of the CIA. The sculpture is made of large copper plates that display nearly 900 text characters. The characters are an encrypted message intended to be a challenge to cryptologists. CIA Releases Analyst’s Fascinating Tale of […]

FIPS Validated Encryption

FIPS 140-2 is the current (soon to be revised to FIPS 140-3) NIST encryption standard for government agencies protecting sensitive but unclassified information. NIST operates a Cryptographic Module Validation Program (CMVP) that offers testing of encryption (cryptographic modules) in products to ensure they are compliant with the FIPS standard. This testing involves not only which […]


Truecrypt is a free utility that performs encryption with a variety of options. It can encrypt individual files, groups of files and entire volumes. It creates a virtual disk that stores the files, can be mounted like a normal drive and handles the encryption/decryption process with real time access. When the virtual volume is not […]

Wireless Restrictions

AC-18 WIRELESS RESTRICTIONS (NIST SP 800-53) The organization: (i) establishes usage restrictions and implementation guidance for wireless technologies; and (ii) authorizes, monitors, controls wireless access to the information system. NIST Special Publications 800-48 and 800-97 provide guidance on wireless network security. NIST Special Publication 800-94 provides guidance on wireless intrusion detection and prevention. Overview of […]