[cryptography] Bruce Schneier on BULLRUN and related NSA programs

coderman coderman at gmail.com
Fri Sep 6 03:49:59 EDT 2013

select quotes from

"The NSA Is Breaking Most Encryption on the Internet"

Remember this: The math is good, but math has no agency. Code has
agency, and the code has been subverted.
[regarding magic curve constants]
Bruce Schneier • September 5, 2013 4:07 PM
I no longer trust the constants. I believe the NSA has manipulated
them through their relationships with industry.

Bruce Schneier • September 5, 2013 7:32 PM

"You recommended to 'Prefer symmetric cryptography over public-key
cryptography.' Can you elaborate on why?"

It is more likely that the NSA has some fundamental mathematical
advance in breaking public-key algorithms than symmetric algorithms.

[EDITOR: the safety margin for key lengths over time is definitely
more reassuring for symmetric ciphers*. and aggravating that hardware
security products and other encryption appliances and systems do not
accomodate 4k or even 2k keys well, not to mention the varied cipher
suites you may prefer...]
Bruce Schneier • September 5, 2013 4:58 PM
"Why are you not going to write about those 'other few things'? Can
you write about the here please?

I want to keep some secrets in my back pocket.

* key length recommendations in bits
Lenstra and Verheul Equations (2000)
symmetric: 70
pubkey. 952
hash: 140

compare to: ECRYPT II 2011-2015
symmetric: 80
pubkey: 1248
hash: 160

and considering projection: ECRYPT II  >2041
symmetric: 256
pubkey: 15424
hash: 512

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