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A 256k key makes getting the data expensive. If someone wants to badly enough they can get it. The attacks on the phones were on known individuals. Encryption is most useful to prevent trawling attacks - it's too expensive to decrypt all traffic or work around its encryption (you're quite sure there's no keylogger on your machine, right? right?). If your opponent is well resourced and targeting you directly, you're screwed unless you're extremely disciplined.
by Colman (colman at eurotrib.com) on Wed Jul 6th, 2011 at 04:05:41 PM EST
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Yes, I'm quite sure I don't have keyloggers on my box. And we're talking about defending yourself from some script kiddie private eye, not from the KGB.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Jul 6th, 2011 at 04:09:12 PM EST
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Well, my wife's ATM card was hacked a few weeks ago after she used it exactly once. In Dulles airport, unfortunately--the same place my card got hacked about a year ago. I don't know if it was somebody watching her or one of those add-on things that intercept the card reader--I wasn't there--but she is reasonable aware of her surroundings and was completely flummoxed. Moral: Never use your credit or ATM card in an airport.

I think there is a fundamental law of information physics involved in all this. If you want a paper to be secure, you put it in a "secret" folder in a locked file cabinet in a locked room in a locked building. It's a hassle to get at it, but it's pretty secure. If you want to keep your file secure, you encrypt it, you use a good key distribution system, you require complex passwords, and you force people to change their access routine regularly. It's a hassle to get at it, but it's pretty secure. Fundamentally, I propose, the difficulty of access for approved users (you) is a proxy for the fundamental security of the overall system--regardless of the access method, physical or electronic.

by asdf on Wed Jul 6th, 2011 at 06:21:01 PM EST
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