Paul Driscoll Jr July 11, 2012 8:59 AM

Recently read a piece in the LA Times concerning the building of high-speed rail in California.
Don’t you think it presents an undefendable security nigtmare??

Randy July 11, 2012 9:28 AM


I’m not Bruce, but let be so bold….

Not any more than the 100 or so other similar albeit stationary targets. And the high speed rail will benefit the residents of California considerably.

Randy — justaguess

Figureitout July 11, 2012 11:24 AM

@Paul D. Jr.

A little off topic, ask questions in the Friday “Squid Post” where just about anything goes. In my view, just about anything is an “undefendable security nightmare”. What about the 1000’s of miles of roadsides that could have an IED attached to? What about power poles taken down with chainsaw? From my European experience (people generally don’t take trains in US), subways/trains are more secure in that it’s almost impossible to crash; just keep a hand on your wallet.


Ha, if you’re going to troll I say at least be funny. Btw, love that movie.

Figureitout July 11, 2012 11:36 AM

@ Paul D. Jr.
Also, couple cheap ideas to secure railways: buy a bunch of the black half-sphere covers used for most surveillance cameras and set them up all over, just the covers, no cameras needed; put on poles and maybe add some fake antennas and wires for visual effect. Or put signs all along fence of railway stating “Warning, Electrical Hazard, Enter at your own risk.” or some such.

Some would call that “Security Theater”, but who honestly can check each camera they see or who risks electrocution?

Michael Lynn July 11, 2012 3:27 PM

The resources page claims to have original bit level copies of the disk. It would be a trivial matter to reverse the algorithm as well as any keying material available to it (provided it didn’t get it from an outside source like the internet, and in 1992 I’d find that very unlikely).

Michael Lynn July 11, 2012 6:07 PM

Without actually looking at it yet. It does occur to me that it could be using some form of asymmetric cipher. Making decryption (potentially) very difficult even if recovery of the algorithm and public key would still be trivial.

Karellen July 11, 2012 6:13 PM

I suspect that the use of Thibault or Bonetti’s Defense will be of help to cryptanalysis here, even if the Agrippa has been bolstered with Capa Ferro.

Especially considering the rocky terrain.

anony July 12, 2012 3:09 AM


You’re good. I admit it, you are better than me.

But I’m smiling because I know something you don’t know.

Michael Lynn July 12, 2012 2:51 PM

Anyone else notice that the faxes and stuff from the developer claim to be sent from BBN?

jmdesp July 18, 2012 2:36 AM

@Paul : The French TGV and the Japanese Shinkansen rate as the safest transportation modes in the world, in front of any other train.

Carlos the Jackal made a bomb explode in a TGV in 1983, but the explosion killed only the five passengers next to it, not people in other coaches. Basque terrorists made a bomb explode on the TGV railway tracks in 1998 but nobody was injured inside the train. All incidents case show that the construction of the TGV makes it less likely to injure passenger than other trains when a collision occurs.

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