Enigmatic Cryptography

insight into the craft of covert communication

design © max ciotti

Antisecurity and Hacktivism

Max Ciotti 23 Mar 2013

Welcome to the dark side! The Anti Security Movement (or more colloquially, antisec) and hacktivism are the complements, or inverse, to the efforts of computer and Internet security and concepts of cryptography (albeit for the purpose of achieving a greater good). No, I am not going to teach you how to become an elite hacker, but rather let you in on some information about the different types of hackers and attacks which are commonly employed.

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Digital Signatures

Max Ciotti 22 Dec 2012

Imagine a situation where you have just received a letter in the mail (or by carrier pigeon, if mail has yet to be invented) from your dear beloved. Try to refrain from opening it just for the moment (I know you are excited). Now consider the possibility that your letter has been intercepted by some mischevious crook who has nefarious intents, and the message is compromised. But unknown to you, this crook, with great care and attention to detail, folds the letter back and places it into the envelope as it was sent, sealing the envelope with no traces of it having been opened. Who could have done such a thing? What does he intend to do with this information? I know you are upset and frightened, but please remain calm. You are now the victim of what is called a “Man-in-the-Middle” Attack.

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Basics of Cryptography

Max Ciotti 03 Nov 2012

How secure would you say your email, your Facebook, Tumblr, Dropbox, password manager, or any such service actually is? Would it surprise you to find out that your personal data on any such service can easily be compromised if you fail to take the necessary precautions? If you are not surprised, then excellent, you at least understand the seriousness of the situation and perhaps even know what you can do to protect yourself from attackers. If you were surprised, don’t worry, you are part of the majority of the population, but at least you are in the right place. Cryptography, the process or skill of communicating in or deciphering secret writings or ciphers, is the foundation providing a layer of security between your personal data and attackers who wish to steal such information and often distribute it or use it for nefarious purposes such as identity theft. So how can we protect ourselves?

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Public Key Cryptography

Max Ciotti 13 Oct 2012

While not typically used an algorithm for transmitting messages securely, public key cryptography has become heavily relied upon in systems where user authentication is required. For example, every time you log into gmail, Facebook, or some other website with your email address and password, or whenever you make secure payments online, public key cryptography creates a secured tunnel through which you can transmit that data to the respective app without fear of it being compromised. All this is possible because of the unique mathematical principles behind public key cryptography which were first published in 1976 by Whitfield Diffie and Martin Hellman.

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Introduction to Cryptography

Max Ciotti 29 Sep 2012

Cryptography is becoming increasingly relevant to modern living. It stands silently beneath our feet, unknown to us, yet supporting as we run about on its surface. If it even were to have a small discontinuity in itself, somebody would eventually trip over it and take a hit. It is the job of cryptographers, cryptanalysts, and engineers to create, inspect, and perfect this surface so that all may freely use it without fear of falling.

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