Re: FWD: Erase Bad Credit Overnight! (fwd)

Dave Long (
Wed, 28 Apr 1999 18:45:45 -0700

Cryptoparanoia of the Day:

> Anyone can have a New Credit File Instantly...
> Also, Build a Cable Descrambler...

Let's say you were a group of mad scientists who wanted to hold the world
hostage. (what's the ransom? I don't know: parking spots maybe, or cheaper
graduate students. anyway...) You've got your hidden bases on tropical
islands, you've got your death rays in a manned space station (of course mad
scientists can read cyrillic. How else do they keep up with the literature?),
and of course you've got an agent or two in Monaco who can pick up the pizzas
for the all-nighters. (thanks to the mad scientist historical cloning
program, you have 1000 clones of Helen of Troy, and hence can deliver the
pizza via megayacht)

How do you keep in touch? It'd be too obvious sending around normally
encrypted traffic; who knows what agencies would come snooping around
demanding that you reduce your key length? Private networks are out of the
question; you raised the money for the death rays by circulating a prospectus
for "A Secret Internet Venture; No One To Know What It Is", and the stock
would tank if it got out that not only didn't you have any earnings, you
weren't even using the net.

Steganography seems to answer: encode your communication in innocent looking
email messages. The expansion in bandwidth won't hurt; you'll just claim you
were emailing grandma an MPEG of the grandchildren. However, we still have
the problem that the good guys might be able to do traffic analysis; if any
part of your network is compromised, the rest would be revealed on a bandwidth
basis alone.

Spam to the rescue! The average spam meme has plenty of covert bandwidth, and
by sending your messages to millions of innocents, you conceal your
communications. Sure, it may be unethical, but mad scientists crib their
ethics finals.

What we've seen here must have been a fragmentation/reassembly bug in their