News: 2000 Archives
Contestant would do it again 'in a second'
Last month we reported the triumph of two Belgian academics in the US encryption standard contest. But how was the contest organised? If you're not interested, stop reading now.
In the early seventies the US government put out a call for an encryption algorithm. It had no response.
Secrets and Lies: Digital Security in a Networked World.
By Bruce Schneier.
John Wiley & Sons; 432 pages; $29.99 and £19.50
WHEN an acknowledged expert suddenly announces that his previous views are completely wrong, it is time to take notice. That is exactly what Bruce Schneier, an authority on computer security, has just done in "Secrets and Lies". Like many in his field, he used to be beguiled by the mathematics of cryptography, and believed that, with enough fancy encryption and authentication, it was possible to build a totally secure system—a mathematical utopia he described in a previous book, "Applied Cryptography", which became a standard work.
Secrets and Lies by Bruce Schneier, John Wiley, £19.50, ISBN 0471253111
An exceptional amount of disinformation plagues the world of information security. For decades spies obstructed the "proliferation" of cryptographic and security know-how. This made their job of snooping far easier.
When in 1993 I tried to organise a research programme in computer security, cryptography and coding theory, a spook in a suit approached the institute involved.
Bruce Schneier's book Secrets and Lies won a Productivity Award in the 13th Annual Software Development Magazine Product Excellence Awards.
Photo of Bruce Schneier by Per Ervland.
Schneier on Security is a personal website. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of IBM Resilient.