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‘The intelligence coup of the century’
Posted by: space-time
Date: February 11, 2020 11:45AM
[www.washingtonpost.com]

For more than half a century, governments all over the world trusted a single company to keep the communications of their spies, soldiers and diplomats secret.
The company, Crypto AG, got its first break with a contract to build code-making machines for U.S. troops during World War II. Flush with cash, it became a dominant maker of encryption devices for decades, navigating waves of technology from mechanical gears to electronic circuits and, finally, silicon chips and software.
The Swiss firm made millions of dollars selling equipment to more than 120 countries well into the 21st century. Its clients included Iran, military juntas in Latin America, nuclear rivals India and Pakistan, and even the Vatican.
But what none of its customers ever knew was that Crypto AG was secretly owned by the CIA in a highly classified partnership with West German intelligence. These spy agencies rigged the company’s devices so they could easily break the codes that countries used to send encrypted messages.
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Re: ‘The intelligence coup of the century’
Posted by: freeradical
Date: February 11, 2020 12:20PM
This is why we don't trust Huawei. winking smiley
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Re: ‘The intelligence coup of the century’
Posted by: timg
Date: February 11, 2020 01:16PM
Takes one to know one, as they say.



Skill without imagination is craftsmanship. Imagination without skill is Modern Art.
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Re: ‘The intelligence coup of the century’
Posted by: ztirffritz
Date: February 11, 2020 01:25PM
The NSA did the same thing with Cisco Routers back in the day. They intercepted them in transit, replaced the circuitry, and repackaged them and shipped them out.



**************************************
MacResource User Map: [www.zeemaps.com]#
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Re: ‘The intelligence coup of the century’
Posted by: clay
Date: February 11, 2020 01:43PM
so what you're saying is that we basically have no chance of privacy?
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Re: ‘The intelligence coup of the century’
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: February 11, 2020 01:58PM
Quote
clay
so what you're saying is that we basically have no chance of privacy?
Yes. And the engineering that produces predictive behavioral patterns about us.

[engineering.stanford.edu]
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Re: ‘The intelligence coup of the century’
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: February 11, 2020 02:35PM
It sounds like this would be the basis for an amazing book.



It is what it is.
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Re: ‘The intelligence coup of the century’
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: February 11, 2020 02:36PM
From the article:

Crypto’s products are still in use in more than a dozen countries around the world...

Not for much longer, would be my guess.



It is what it is.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/11/2020 02:37PM by N-OS X-tasy!.
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Re: ‘The intelligence coup of the century’
Posted by: Racer X
Date: February 11, 2020 03:15PM
Anyone who has any expectation of privacy is delusional. Even though there are laws to protect us, there are even more, almost secret exceptions, that over rule them. And almost no accountability or oversight.

Kind of like the US doesn't torture our captives, but if we turn them over to someone who does/can, that isn't us breaking the law............



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/11/2020 03:20PM by Racer X.
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Re: ‘The intelligence coup of the century’
Posted by: Mr Downtown
Date: February 11, 2020 03:52PM
Last month I read a fascinating book—The Spy in Moscow Station: A Counterspy's Hunt for a Deadly Cold War Threat, by Eric Haseltine—about how the Soviets intercepted and rigged the US Embassy in Moscow's IBM Selectric typewriters to keep track of the keystrokes and then transmit them in rapid hard-to-detect bursts to KGB receivers. In 1985.

The book takes this astonishing story and pads it out quite a bit, so I can't recommend it unreservedly, but it's fascinating what clever determined folks can do, on both sides.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/11/2020 03:53PM by Mr Downtown.
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Re: ‘The intelligence coup of the century’
Posted by: MrNoBody
Date: February 11, 2020 04:31PM
Quote
ztirffritz
The NSA did the same thing with Cisco Routers back in the day. They intercepted them in transit, replaced the circuitry, and repackaged them and shipped them out.
More like Cisco welcomed them into their factory!
No big secret, NSA has it's own engineering & chip fab facility @ Ft. Meade.





39°36'17"N 75°44'43"W

The search engine that doesn't track you.

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Re: ‘The intelligence coup of the century’
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: February 11, 2020 05:10PM
This is why we don't trust Huawei.


LOL

And why it's funny when our Govt. says 'Give us a backdoor so all your phone OSs are belong to us, but no bad guys will know or get the key'.




When a good man is hurt,
all who would be called good
must suffer with him.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

There is no safety for honest men except
by believing all possible evil of evil men.

We don’t do focus groups. They just ensure that you don’t offend anyone, and produce bland inoffensive products. —Sir Jonathan Ive

Perfection is the enemy of progress. -Winston Churchill

-An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

Mister, that's a ten-gallon hat on a twenty-gallon head.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
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Re: ‘The intelligence coup of the century’
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: February 11, 2020 05:11PM
Quote
N-OS X-tasy!
From the article:

Crypto’s products are still in use in more than a dozen countries around the world...

Not for much longer, would be my guess.

The story broke in 2013... thanks to a certain whistle blower. Anyone still using them either hasn't been keeping up with the news, or doesn't care who reads their mail.



Paul F.
-----
A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
----
Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

--

--

--
Eureka, CA
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Re: ‘The intelligence coup of the century’
Posted by: August West
Date: February 11, 2020 09:27PM
Ask yourself, what is privacy? what is secrecy? One doesn't need any technology or knowledge of technology to realize they are illusions.



Picasso in his studio after the liberation of Paris, taken by my friend and mentor.

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Re: ‘The intelligence coup of the century’
Posted by: Don C
Date: February 11, 2020 10:24PM
When I was in the USAF Security Service in 1968 word in tech school was that the Russians could listen into a phone conversation by measuring the voice caused vibrations of the window of the subject's office. Or maybe is was the US that could do that. I was never clear and I certainly never followed up to find out if it was true.
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Re: ‘The intelligence coup of the century’
Posted by: Racer X
Date: February 12, 2020 01:06AM
Oh yes, very true. Now we can do it with laser from crazy distances. Double or triple pane windows help, but sometimes the glass will be set up with vibrators. There are other ways, but I am not privy to them.

The Cone of Silence could have been another solution if Agent 86 would have quit breaking it.

Also, the technology that lets is track tsunamis way out in the open ocean came from our ability to track Russian subs hundreds of feet below the surface by how the disturbance of the water's surface changed its reflectivity. Back in the '90s we could detect less than an inch of disturbance. Prior to that, in the '70s, it was several inches. Lasers and optical sensors on satellites. Now, its far more minute, and far more classified.

By the time the info becomes public, the technology behind it is generations obsolete.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 02/12/2020 01:17AM by Racer X.
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Re: ‘The intelligence coup of the century’
Posted by: freeradical
Date: February 12, 2020 02:15AM
From what I understand, early testing for emission security was kind of funny because emissions were so high from all communications gear, that you were "safe" because your emissions were lost in this flood of electronic noise.
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Re: ‘The intelligence coup of the century’
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: February 12, 2020 03:23AM
Quote
freeradical
From what I understand, early testing for emission security was kind of funny because emissions were so high from all communications gear, that you were "safe" because your emissions were lost in this flood of electronic noise.

The U.S. Government has an entire specification (TEMPEST) that addresses RF emissions from network hardware and infrastructure. Pretty interesting stuff.



It is what it is.
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Re: ‘The intelligence coup of the century’
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: February 12, 2020 04:34AM
Quote
freeradical
This is why we don't trust Huawei. winking smiley

THIS is why we don’t trust Huawei: [www.cnet.com]



It is what it is.
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Re: ‘The intelligence coup of the century’
Posted by: JoeH
Date: February 12, 2020 09:31AM
Quote
Racer X
Oh yes, very true. Now we can do it with laser from crazy distances. Double or triple pane windows help, but sometimes the glass will be set up with vibrators. There are other ways, but I am not privy to them.

The Cone of Silence could have been another solution if Agent 86 would have quit breaking it.

Also, the technology that lets is track tsunamis way out in the open ocean came from our ability to track Russian subs hundreds of feet below the surface by how the disturbance of the water's surface changed its reflectivity. Back in the '90s we could detect less than an inch of disturbance. Prior to that, in the '70s, it was several inches. Lasers and optical sensors on satellites. Now, its far more minute, and far more classified.

By the time the info becomes public, the technology behind it is generations obsolete.

I used to load many tapes of NASA weather satellite data for an Electrical Engineering grad student named Mark in the late '80s to early '90s. He was researching algorithms for extracting 2nd and 3rd order information such as wind speed and direction from wave height data. His research got him his doctorate, and was still being used the last I was in contact with that area of computing. a decade ago.
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Re: ‘The intelligence coup of the century’
Posted by: MrNoBody
Date: February 12, 2020 11:55AM
Quote
Don C
When I was in the USAF Security Service in 1968 word in tech school was that the Russians could listen into a phone conversation by measuring the voice caused vibrations of the window of the subject's office. Or maybe is was the US that could do that. I was never clear and I certainly never followed up to find out if it was true.

One of the techniques & countermeasures for it taught @ USAINTCS (Ft Holabird) from
the late '50s and continues on @ Fort Huachuca and NMITC Dam Neck (Va Beach).
The 'window pane vibration technique' was easily defeated by aiming a small fan
from the room at the target window.
You'd be surprised how useful shellac can be.
secret smiley



39°36'17"N 75°44'43"W

The search engine that doesn't track you.

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Re: ‘The intelligence coup of the century’
Posted by: Racer X
Date: February 12, 2020 09:57PM
absolutely right! Give the eavesdropper a good shellacing, and maybe a good pasting, and send them on their way!
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