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Quantum Encryption Implementation Broken

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the but-this-was-a-quantum-drawing-board dept.

Encryption 133

I Don't Believe in Imaginary Property writes "Professor Johannes Skaar's Quantum Hacking group at NTNU have found a new way to break quantum encryption. Even though quantum encryption is theoretically perfect, real hardware isn't, and they exploit these flaws. Their technique relies on a particular way of blinding the single photon detectors so that they're able to perform an intercept-resend attack and get a copy of the secret key without giving away the fact that someone is listening. This attack is not merely theoretical, either. They have built an eavesdropping device and successfully attacked their own quantum encryption hardware. More details can be found in their conference presentation."

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Successfully broken before anybody was using it! (5, Funny)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 4 years ago | (#30599912)

Now that's efficiency for you, folks!

Re:Successfully broken before anybody was using it (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600032)

Exactly. More proof that Firewalls and Antiviruses can never keep up with hackers.

Re:Successfully broken before anybody was using it (1)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600152)

You said what now?

Re:Successfully broken before anybody was using it (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 4 years ago | (#30602114)

No, this is a way to get another revenue stream. Sell the two 'secure' endpoints to person's A and B, sell third interception endpoint to NSA... Increase revenue by 50%!

Re:Successfully broken before anybody was using it (2, Informative)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 4 years ago | (#30602118)

Too bad this has nothing to do with antivirus software or firewalls..

This is why we can't have nice things (5, Funny)

PixieDust (971386) | more than 4 years ago | (#30599914)

Can we please get to play with some of these emerging technologies before someone goes breaking them? This is why we can't have nice things! You intellectuals and your tinkering....

Re:This is why we can't have nice things (1)

Sique (173459) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600014)

And there was me thinking that attempting to break something deliberately is part of the playing :)

Re:This is why we can't have nice things (1)

jinxed_one (572065) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600072)

The whole point is to make sure the implementation can't be broken BEFORE they distribute it and have to recall/replace/handle frivolous lawsuits/etc.

And they call it... (5, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30599928)

Schrödinger's Hack!

Re:And they call it... (5, Funny)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600106)

Sure, they call it that....and they don't. It's complicated.

Re:And they call it... (1)

dazjorz (1312303) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600132)

Until you check your terminal, it's both broken...and it isn't... You both have the plaintext, and you don't...

Re:And they call it... (1)

ZarathustraDK (1291688) | more than 4 years ago | (#30601774)

You both have the plaintext, and you don't...

Comic Sans?

Cat in the Hack (1)

TiggertheMad (556308) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600134)

It's ok, the message hasn't actually been decoded by a third party as long as you don't read it.

Of course not (1)

A nonymous Coward (7548) | more than 4 years ago | (#30601724)

If the third party reads it before you do, they are really the second party. Then you read it as the third party. Or wait long enough and be the fourth party.

Re:And they call it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30600624)

Upon closer inspection you'll find that jokes already dead.

...or not.

Broken (4, Funny)

Wowsers (1151731) | more than 4 years ago | (#30599944)

There's only one way to look at this story, the quantum encryption may or may not be broken, or maybe partially so, so both cases could be true at the same time.

Re:Broken (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30600030)

This post may or may not be funny, or both at the same time.

Re:Broken (1)

Triela (773061) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600058)

And not only must the encryption work with hardware which is very small, it must also work with hardware which is very large.

Re:Broken (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30600168)

Like that darn fat cat!

Re:Broken (1)

Verdatum (1257828) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600546)

Huh? The villain from Rescue Rangers?

(upon reading it, I apologize for this comment).

lame... silly kids. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30599956)

broken even easier by capturing the data prior to encryption. HEH.

Fond memories (3, Informative)

temcat (873475) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600010)

Hehe, that master student [vad1.com] you will see at the second linked page is me ten years ago :-)

Re:Fond memories (3, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600034)

You went back in time and took a picture of yourself?

Re:Fond memories (1)

temcat (873475) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600118)

No, I took it in advance so as not to have to go back in time :-) I did my master thesis while working on that project in 1999-2000.

Re:Fond memories (2, Funny)

Verdatum (1257828) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600574)

Holy crap, the plot of the movie Primer suddenly makes sense to me!

Re:Fond memories (1)

PotatoFiend (1330299) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600266)

Hehe, that master student you will see at the second linked page is me ten years ago

Even so, blue jean jackets have been out of style since the 80s, dude.

Re:Fond memories (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30600364)

He must've taken his mommy to college with him so that she could dress him every morning.

Re:Fond memories (1)

temcat (873475) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600888)

It's not like I cared about being trendy, I almost despised that back then, which you can also notice by my haircut or, more precisely, by lack of one. You almost guessed about the jacket, it's a Soviet product from '92 or so. Served me well actually and still comes handy when I need to wear something durable that I can abuse freely.

Re:Fond memories (0, Flamebait)

EkriirkE (1075937) | more than 4 years ago | (#30601796)

Note the email subdomain? .no
European fashion was still in the (USA) 80's back then.

Re:Fond memories (1)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 4 years ago | (#30601304)

Holy shit, if you tell me you weren't listening to Bon Jovi's Slippery When Wet while wearing that outfit...then we all know you are full of it.

Nothing to see here. Move along. (3, Insightful)

nacturation (646836) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600022)

How is it news that a flawed implementation of a perfectly secure algorithm can be taken advantage of? Cryptographers have been doing side channel attacks for a long time.

Re:Nothing to see here. Move along. (1, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600204)

Because the algorithm is almost never the weakness in any security system? This was snake oil, sold as "provably perfect encryption" which is a total load of rubbish. Anyhow, quantum crypto wasn't about a algorithm, but about a silly claim that one can use technology to make communication intercepts "provably impossibly". Bullshit - making one link of a chain really really strong doesn't make the chain meaningfully stronger.

Re:Nothing to see here. Move along. (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600292)

Kind of an important first step to improving the entire chain is to improve individual steps in the chain.

In any case, both you and the article miss the point, the attack site protected by any form of cryptography is the middle, not the ends.

Re:Nothing to see here. Move along. (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600380)

Yes, but improving the already-strongest link of a chain get you nowhere. And cryptography is only ever the weakness of any security system if you do it yourself. A security system that touts "better cryptography" is almost certainly a scam.

Of course, "quantum cryptography" is not cryptography, it's a means of detecting eavesdropping - and the product did not deliver on its promises.

Re:Nothing to see here. Move along. (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600492)

Sigh. If I use ssh to connect from my linux machine to yours and you say "ha! I've broken your ssh connection because I can sniff your pty." I'll just say congratulations, kick you off my linux machine and go back to using ssh.

Stop being a dick.

Re:Nothing to see here. Move along. (2, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600596)

I don't understand your point. A company is selling a system marketed as "quantum cryptography" and "provably secure". This commercial product was broken by a fairly normal approach to breaking comm security. "Quantum cryptography" is a marketing buzzword term (buzzphrase?) largely created by this company.

I suppose pedantically one could say "a commercial appliance marketed as provably secure quantum cryptography was broken", but most people understood the intended meaning: this much hyped "quantum crypto" doodad is no real improvement in practical comm security.

Re:Nothing to see here. Move along. (0, Flamebait)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600764)

Gah, this is so frustrating.

Your interpretation of reality isn't truth.. got that?

The researchers did not break this device to expose anyone's snake oil.. they just demonstrated a flaw with the expectation that it would be fixed, improving the device.

If the device was using traditional public key encryption they could have done the exact same attack.

Re:Nothing to see here. Move along. (2, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | more than 4 years ago | (#30601126)

If the device was using traditional public key encryption they could have done the exact same attack.

That was pretty much my point too. I have no insight into the motivation of the researchers, but this product is snake oil becuase it can be broken by the exact same attacks that work against a system not "protected by the Magic of Quantum(TM) - now with extra magic!" The thing that differentiates this product from competing comm security products adds no security in practice.

Re:Nothing to see here. Move along. (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#30601216)

So you're saying that you failed logic.

The claim is that quantum cryptographic systems are not susceptible to some of the attack vectors that public key cryptography systems are susceptible to... primarily, key factoring... the fact that all cryptographic systems share some attack vectors doesn't invalidate that claim.

Re:Nothing to see here. Move along. (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 4 years ago | (#30601370)

So you're saying that you failed logic.

In reply to your many ad-hominum attacks: you're ugly and your mother dresses you funny.

The claim is that quantum cryptographic systems are not susceptible to some of the attack vectors that public key cryptography systems are susceptible to... primarily, key factoring... the fact that all cryptographic systems share some attack vectors doesn't invalidate that claim.

The claim that quantum cryptographic systems provide more security is bogus: further hardening the strongest element in a security system does not provide additional security. Demonstrating vulnerability to other attack vectors does invalidate nonsense claims like "provable security".

Re:Nothing to see here. Move along. (1)

Thinboy00 (1190815) | more than 4 years ago | (#30601844)

I think the original claim of QC went something like this:
zomg Quantum Computing will be done eventually and then they'll be able to trivially break most/all modern ciphers, even if implemented in a perfect way! There will not even be theoretical security! I know, lets take this old, unbreakable cipher [wikipedia.org] and invent a method of key distribution that is perfectly secure in theory! That way, by the time QComputing is invented, QCrypto will have rendered it moot.

Executive summary: "provable security using real world hardware" was never a goal.

Re:Nothing to see here. Move along. (2, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 4 years ago | (#30601986)

further hardening the strongest element in a security system does not provide additional security

Of course it does. You're taking a rule of thumb and holding it up as gospel while completely misunderstanding the purpose of it.

Re:Nothing to see here. Move along. (1)

Thinboy00 (1190815) | more than 4 years ago | (#30601800)

"Quantum cryptography" is a marketing buzzword term (buzzphrase?) largely created by this company.

What company? QC is still in the "kinda theoretical" phase right now (i.e. the five to ten years to market [xkcd.com] point)

Re:Nothing to see here. Move along. (1)

Verdatum (1257828) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600632)

...but he's right. "the algorithm is almost never the weakness in any security system" it's social engineering, and buffer overflows, and small keysizes and lots of other exploitable vectors. I fail to see the need for this sort of staw man argument.

Re:Nothing to see here. Move along. (1)

Trails (629752) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600358)

Well, I think this is more of a typical disconnect between academic types and more practical types.

Quantum crypto is an enhancement over current non-crypto methods, it is (for the moment) provably unbreakable. For most applications, the difference is trivial since (barring the NSA), breaking current encryption isn't impossible, so much as impractical in the extreme.

That's an interesting, if academic, point. As you mention, most compromises these days are not defeating the encryption algo, so much as social engineering or "side channel" attacks.

Somehow this got turned into "perfect security for electronic communication", which, clearly, it isn't. By academics, at least, I don't think it was billed that way though.

 

Re:Nothing to see here. Move along. (2, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600466)

You do realize that "quantum crypto" is not any kind of cryptography, right? (Beyond the most general sense of "secret writing", I guess). It's a "provably secure" means of detecting eavesdroppers. Except, as with most "provably secure" systems, it turned out to be flawed.

Re:Nothing to see here. Move along. (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600782)

Except, as with most "provably secure" systems,

The "proof" turned out to be flawed.

Re:Nothing to see here. Move along. (1)

zmaragdus (1686342) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600260)

Quite so. A good topic to research (in addition to side-channel attacks) for more information on is TEMPEST (protecting against "spurious emmisions" that may leak information). From there you can find information on many, many methods of side-channel attacks. Examples include measuring the emag field from keyboard presses, monitoring CPU times & power consumptions, reading screens in reflections, and many more.

Again, this article highlights that all the software in the world can't protect against some hardware attacks. (For example, a hardware keylogger between the keyboard and the computer.)

You didn't RTFA, did you? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30600738)

> How is it news that a flawed implementation of a perfectly secure algorithm can be taken advantage of?

Because it's a very technically impressive hack that breaks the guarantees we love quantum encryption for (the idea that we can detect eavesdropping) and it does it in a fairly general way, using a weakness in an important piece of hardware (the single photon detectors) that's used in many quantum cryptography setups.

It may not be surprising to you, but the technology used isn't so trivial as you make it sound. Read their conference presentation if you want to see. The only reason I didn't write more of it into the summary is because I didn't want to butcher all the explanations when I could let you read the original.

- IDBIIP

Re:Nothing to see here. Move along. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30602068)

How is it news that a flawed implementation of a perfectly secure algorithm can be taken advantage of? Cryptographers have been doing side channel attacks for a long time.

OK, so they broke it based on the hardware. If something is theoretically unbreakable but beakable in practice, then its an implementation flaw... Better hardware is needed...

Prototype fallible, news at 11. (1)

ground.zero.612 (1563557) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600040)

Truly nothing to see here.

Re:Prototype fallible, news at 11. (2, Insightful)

temcat (873475) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600136)

Not a specific prototype but a whole class of QC setups.

quantum encryption broken by blinding detectors... (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600544)

Truly nothing to see here.

I'm sure there is a joke in there somewhere.

I've heard this before (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600048)

"Even though quantum encryption is theoretically perfect"

And Communism works, IN THEORY.

Re:I've heard this before (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30600126)

Just like capitalism.

Re:I've heard this before (1)

ravenshrike (808508) | more than 4 years ago | (#30601490)

Capitalism by definition doesn't work perfectly. Instead it is theorized to cause the least amount of damage. The issue is once the .gov starts picking favorites, it stops being actual capitalism.

Re:I've heard this before (1)

owlstead (636356) | more than 4 years ago | (#30602040)

It is theorized to do the least amount of damage? To what? To the earth? Or to the people living on it?

It sure helps in getting a relatively wealthy society quickly, but I would not call anything the current world does "the least amount of damage". Quite the opposite actually.

Re:I've heard this before (3, Insightful)

inviolet (797804) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600166)

And Communism works, IN THEORY.

No it doesn't. The theory of Communism proposes that humans will work for the betterment of their fellow tribe members. This works in small tribes where everyone knows each other (families and 'communes'), but was known in advance to fail for larger groups. The theory is bunk because it utterly fails to understand the fact that personal economic incentives are the primary driver of human behavior.

As was Marx's derivation of the value of the worker. He completely missed the fact that the value-add comes from the synergistic arrangement (arranged by the entrepreneur) of worker, raw materials, and the means of production.

Re:I've heard this before (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30600212)

You did an excellent job of proving yourself wrong :)

Re:I've heard this before (3, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600294)

Actually, Marx's main flaw was in how he valued technology. The man wasn't a starry-eyed idiot, but he just failed to see the value of automation - something not so obvious in his time. Marx directly claimed that machines cannot lower the cost of goods, because machines would naturally be sold for the value of the labor they replaced. Most of the benefit of capitalism is that technology reduces the cost of goods, so that our standard of living improves continuously over time despite the common man never getting a larger share of the wealth.

At any given point in time, the only reason capitalism does any better job of creating a "synergistic arrangement of worker, raw materials, and the means of production" is that capitalism self-corrects for corruption faster (companies fail faster than governments). In practice this is a minor factor as successful companies quickly infiltrate government to create regulations that raise barriers to competition (markets are never free for long).

Over generations, however, the advance of technology is huge - far more important that the distribution of wealth to one's standard of living. And free markets (to the exten they exist) are far and away the best stimulus for new technology. This is why established firms so often seek government regulation: to prevent (or at least slow) disruptive technology.

Re:I've heard this before (1)

Rising Ape (1620461) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600730)

Free markets by themselves are not enough for new technology. In fact, historically, a good deal of new technology was motivated by military requirements. Additionally, revolutionary technology (e.g. the transistor) depends on a background knowledge of science which is generally *not* obtained by companies seeking a profit, but by government funded research.

Free markets are good for developing products though, and improving existing technologies.

Re:I've heard this before (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600892)

We may be saying the same thing, but history is full of amazing inventions that sat idle for centuries because in that culture in that time there was insufficient incentive to turn the invention into a product. It's not that a free market somehow magically sparks research, but that it provides both a huge incentive to transform research from the abstract to the practical, and a mechanism for raising the capital to do so.

The actual amount of money spent on fundamental research is nearly trivial in the scheme of things - totally necessary, but never a limiting economic factor. Anyone complaining about taxation being used to fund research is simply bad at math (but it's sort of a non-sequitur from free markets).

Re:I've heard this before (1)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 4 years ago | (#30601562)

Additionally, revolutionary technology (e.g. the transistor) depends on a background knowledge of science which is generally *not* obtained by companies seeking a profit, but by government funded research.

Ummm... the transistor was invented at Bell Labs, which was a subsidiary of Bell Communications, which was a private company. Bell Labs is still a private institution, and their discoveries are intended to produce items for a profit. They are simply smart enough to realize you can't necessarily tell someone what to invent, and put up with thousands of unmarketable inventions to get the few hugely profitable ones.

Re:I've heard this before (1)

Rising Ape (1620461) | more than 4 years ago | (#30601644)

Yes, but it was dependent on the understanding of the laws of nature, such as quantum mechanics, thermodynamics, electronic structure of semiconductors etc. While Bell Labs undoubtedly did a lot of valuable science, it built on what had been done previously. Without that background, it would not have been possible.

In any case, Bell Labs did not operate in a free market - it was part of a very large regulated monopoly. Generally, competing private companies do not have the resources to do basic research - they can only afford things which will lead to products in the near future. Anything non-patentable is no good, as it will help the competitors as much as themselves. Since AT&T was split up, the research output is greatly diminished.

Re:I've heard this before (1)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 4 years ago | (#30601746)

In any case, Bell Labs did not operate in a free market...

But they did, AT&T did not, but Bell Labs entire purpose was to expand it's reach beyond its limited monopoly over phone systems. They had no monopoly anywhere else, but they had the resources to attempt expansion and create new competing products.

It was the free market that drove that, not government funding. The truth is, the amount government funded research is pitiful compared to private research, and large companies - like AT&T back in the day - would pick up a large portion of the slack if government funding wasn't covering the basic research.

Re:I've heard this before (1)

Rising Ape (1620461) | more than 4 years ago | (#30601966)

Bell Labs got funding thanks to AT&T's regulated return on investment - AT&T couldn't lose by funding it. Its principal role was to support the telephone business, and as they could recoup the investment from their telephone operations, shielded from competition, even tangentially related research could be justified. That was the driver for the research, and wouldn't happen in a free market - a phone company without research spending could out-compete them, so only research with a reasonably short term economic benefit could be justified. So no real science at all. Would we have got a transistor under such an environment, or just a really advanced vacuum tube?

Your last remark on the relative spending on research may be true for applied research and product development, but basic research with no obvious application? Which profit-minded company operating in a free market would fund that? Which do?

Re:I've heard this before (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 4 years ago | (#30601174)

Marx directly claimed that machines cannot lower the cost of goods, because machines would naturally be sold for the value of the labor they replaced.

Are you sure that criticism wasn't made specifically as a critique of how automation worked, from the point of view of labor-hours of income that had to be exchanged for a given quantity of goods, specifically in a capitalist society (and, remember, Marx was critiquing 19th Century capitalism, not modern "capitalism" in which every "capitalist" state has -- largely to address the same ills of 19th century capitalism that Marx critiqued -- adopted a wide variety of state programs, many of which are closely related to specific recommendations in the Communist Manifesto.)

Most of the benefit of capitalism is that technology reduces the cost of goods

Insofar as that is true, how is that a benefit of capitalism?

Re:I've heard this before (1)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 4 years ago | (#30601642)

Insofar as that is true, how is that a benefit of capitalism?

I believe he simply meant free markets, but the free market is the cornerstone of capitalism.

For a good comparison, look at the Cold War and Communist Russia vs Capitalist America. The Russian standard of living was dropping because Communism does not provide an incentive to increase worker efficiency (other than what you can get by tyranical means), whereas in the US the economy was growing more efficient and the standard of living was skyrocketing. Both the US and Russia were tired and worn after the war, but the free market system and the fact that so many women had joined the work force meant the US economy boomed. The only real difference for Russia was a lack of a free market. The average standard of living in Russia didn't improve until the markets were opened up and made more free.

I am of course ignoring the space race and nuclear arms race, which had little immediate impact on the economy of either country. This was purely government driven for both countries, and as such they ran at similar efficiencies, Russia even beating us to space, but not the moon.

All this to say, Communism looks really nice on paper, but fails once it grows beyond a relatively small size. That isn't to say as Capitalists we don't recognize modern ills and inequalities and attempt to mitigate them, but really it just tends to make things worse, despite good intentions. Simply try to prevent abuse, don't force kindness, and I think things will take care of themselves nicely.

Re:I've heard this before (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 4 years ago | (#30601918)

Capitalism stimulates technological advance better than any system that has ever been tried, largely because it combines a huge incentive for turning new ideas into products with the means of raising the capital to do so.

At it's root, capitalism is simply a system for determining who controls the means of production: assigning that control to those who have done well at that task in the past (because wealth is the primary means for gaining control of the means of production, and making good decisions about the use of the means of production is the primary means for increasing wealth). Capitalism has strong positive feedback for those who choose to produce products that consumers actually want, which strongly correlates with finding ways to increase the consumer's standard of living for the same amount of consumer wealth.

In other words, there's a huge incentive under capitalism to find new ways to improve the standard of living of your consumers (because that sells really well), and people who do so gain more control over the means of production over time (because you buy the means of production with money, instead of political favoritism). It's a great feedback loop, though in practice is always subverted to some degree by the political favoritism thing as free markets never stay free.

Re:I've heard this before (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30600902)

>>And Communism works, IN THEORY.
>No it doesn't

Agreed, and for yet another reason: even if humans are all saints
and DO happily sacrifice for society, the problem of coordinating
dispersed knowledge can't be solved. For details, google
"calculation debate".

Re:I've heard this before (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 4 years ago | (#30601196)

Agreed, and for yet another reason: even if humans are all saints
and DO happily sacrifice for society,

Which, incidentally, Communism is premised on the observation that they aren't and don't...

the problem of coordinating dispersed knowledge can't be solved.

What, exactly, does that have anything to do with the theory of Communism?

Re:I've heard this before (1)

ravenshrike (808508) | more than 4 years ago | (#30601504)

Well someone has to decide what is needed, and without price indicators there's no unconscious mechanism doing so

Re:I've heard this before (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30600934)

You do realize that by saying that communism doesn't work (from a capitalism view) is saying that it actually does work.

If you take a look at what you just said; by creating incentives you drive human behavior.

I know it's hard to wrap your head around it and see it both ways if your own behavior has been modulated in either direction, I couldn't begin to explain it and I wouldn't if I could.

Re:I've heard this before (1, Interesting)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 4 years ago | (#30601068)

The theory of Communism proposes that humans will work for the betterment of their fellow tribe members.

No, actually, it doesn't. Like democracy (which it is, in a sense, an analog of, addressing economic rights instead of political rights) it relies on the idea that humans will work for the betterment of themselves, individually, so that widely and equally distributing power among the population will result in the broadest possible benefit. As with democracy, one of the places that communism breaks down in practice (and, in fact, is "broken by design" in all real-world attempts to implement anything called "Communism", which are based not directly on Marx and Engels work, but on Lenin's adaptation which introduce the idea of a priviledged self-selected elite working -- in Leninist theory -- on behalf of the masses, because it was intended to work in places that hadn't met the prerequisites Marx had identified for a Communist revolution. This replacement of the "dictatorship of the proletariat" with what amounted to a dictatorship on behalf of the proletariat was pretty contrary to the whole idea of Communism, and in theory as well as in practice is very similar to fascist corporatism.)

The theory is bunk because it utterly fails to understand the fact that personal economic incentives are the primary driver of human behavior.

The critique of capitalism at the center of Marx's communism relies, in part, on that fact; it is particularly central to the idea that the "alienation of labor" is a social problem as well as a personal problem for workers. It is true that it is a common criticism (from very early times -- the criticism is specifically addressed in the Communist Manifesto) that Communism would do away with personal incentive because it would abolish property. But, while the Manifesto talks about eliminating "bourgeois property", it specifically draws an analogy to the destruction of feudal property with the creation of "bourgeois property". The Manifesto, on its own, lays out some of how Communists sought to transform the model of property -- particularly, Communists sought an end to private ownership of land in favor of renting from the State, and to end the heritability of wealth; just as what Communists refer to as "bourgeois" property involved the transition to entailments and other encumbered forms of ownership as the norm for property rights -- particularly in land -- the Communist model of property was essentially and end to fee simple ownership and other permanent rights as the dominant norm in favor of life or (particularly in the case of real property) term interests. The Manifesto clearly sees the mode of property it adopts as providing personal economic incentives -- and actually providing personal economic incentives that are better at promoting economic progress than those produced by "borgeois" property just as the "bourgeois" property model was seen as doing compared to feudal property. One can certainly argue that the Communist model is wrong about how the personal incentives would work out in the environment its programs proposed, but it is clearly wrong to say that the theory of Communism failed to recognize that personal economic incentives are a primary driver of human behavior, since that observation is at the center of Communist theory.

Re:I've heard this before (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30601862)

"Communism", which are based not directly on Marx and Engels work, but on Lenin's adaptation

Let me add that Stalin wrote the only official interpretation of the Lenin's ideas. No other interpretation was allowed.

Re:I've heard this before (2, Interesting)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 4 years ago | (#30601922)

You defend the idea of Communism, yet hint at exactly why it doesn't work. Pure Communism cannot and will not ever work for the same reasons that pure Democracy cannot and will not work - natural cooperation breaks down when the group size becomes so large that individuals do not know every other member of the group on a personal level. Our congress would not function if it got much larger than it is. If it grew to over 1,000 members our government would almost certainly collapse, as there would be no way to prevent the tyranny of the masses.

Incidentally, Capitalism doesn't get it right either, but it much better accounts for human nature than Communism does on a large scale. Pure Capitalism misses the mark because it assumes we are completely self-serving, seeking only for our own best advantage. This is not the case - there is altruism within us, and while not as prevalent as our self-serving nature, it tends to screw up the Capitalist ideal if not taken account for. Incidentally this altruistic streak really screws with Game Theory, making it completely unreliable. In any case, Capitalism does not correct the wealth disparity between the rich and the poor, however it does improve -everyone's- position, making a poor capitalist much richer than a poor communist.

Regarding Carl Marx, I commit a conscious logical fallacy with any of his ideas ever since I did a research paper on the man in junior high. He was a serious piece of shit human being who would rather bemoan his status in the world than get off his ass and work to provide food for his starving family. I have absolutely no respect for him or any of his ideas, and you will never convince me of the value his concepts while invoking his name. When I read about him, all I really wanted to do was kick his whiny little ass. Incidentally, I feel the same way about-able bodied people who make excuses about why they cannot work or need support when I see for-hire signs not a half a block down from where they panhandle. That Carl Marx was able to gain world wide notariety and respect probably for a number of centuries while being a piece of shit human being just pisses me off even more.

Professor Johannes Skaar's Quantum Hacking group (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30600064)

...is the first group of hackers composed entirely of cats.

The Theory Complex (1)

cosm (1072588) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600076)

We all know that theory can be notoriously variable when put into practice. In theory, quantum in particular, your wave function places your probability of spontaneously appearing in a parallel universe as magnificantly insignificant, yet its a "theorhetically possible". Knowing such, it should not be a surprise when such a powerful and not fully-understood "proof-of-concept" implementation is shown to be flawed, there are things we cannot master, and possibilities that cannot be ruled out. No security measure will ever be truly "perfect".

The best password encryption can be broken with a hard-hack, Louisville Sluggers provide a great brute-force technique.

Re:The Theory Complex (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600378)

Louisville Sluggers provide a great brute-force technique.

Could we consider that a "hardware failure"?

Re:The Theory Complex (1)

v1 (525388) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600386)

OR better yet... a "hardware override"?

This is why we can't have nice things (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30600130)

I TOLD YOU NOT TO LOOK AT IT!

Stupid ass can't hack or nothin (1)

mykos (1627575) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600196)

I got norton.

[in before people who don't get the reference]

Re:Stupid ass can't hack or nothin (1)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600352)

I got norton.

[in before people who don't get the reference]

Other things you were "in before":
Humor

Re:Stupid ass can't hack or nothin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30600416)

Bedtime

Intercept-Resend Attack (1)

Reason58 (775044) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600326)

I'm not sure I have heard this term before. How does an "intercept-resend attack" differ from a man-in-the-middle attack?

Re:Intercept-Resend Attack (3, Funny)

gnieboer (1272482) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600370)

Because Intellectual Property Hoggers International got a patent on a man-in-the-middle (TM) attack and the accountants at the university wouldn't pay the licensing fees, so they had to come up with a COMPLETELY NEW and different attack to avoid patent litigation, thus the incredibly novel "intercept-resend attack" (patent pending).

Re:Intercept-Resend Attack (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600752)

Man in the middle is merely attempting to read the information as it passes by. With Quantum encryption, reading the key could potentially change its value. (Hard to explain, but yes thats how it works).

An intercept and Resend is rather taking the information as it comes in, not reading it, but duplicating it (this would be the tricky part, duplicating something without reading it) and then resending the information out.

speaking of "being ahead of the curve" (1)

porky_pig_jr (129948) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600330)

We don't have a quantum computer to provide the quantum encryption yet, but the encryption is already broken.

I think it's time for my beauty rest.

Should have gone wireless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30600392)

...oh, wait a second...nevermind.

What man can create man can circumvent. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30600426)

To paraphrase E. E. (Doc) Smith.

What man can create man can circumvent.

I guess we need a lens...

Re:What man can create man can circumvent. (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600840)

I guess we need a lens...

Especially when you consider that a lensman can read any communication no matter how encoded, encrypted or obfuscated. Even a one-time pad won't do any good once a lensman sees it.

In other words. (1)

v(*_*)vvvv (233078) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600694)

Even though quantum encryption is theoretically perfect...

Most things that are perfect *are* theoretical.

...real hardware isn't, and they exploit these flaws.

Most modern encryption isn't cracked by breaking the technology used to encrypt it. Security is only as secure as the pain tolerance of the person who knows the PIN, or the size of the visor that is suppose to hide the numbers you press from the person in line behind you.

Not really... (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600700)

Saying that this exploit "defeated" quantum encryption is like saying that a bank is not secure because someone got stuck up walking home after making a withdrawal.

The summary admits as much by saying "Even though quantum encryption is theoretically perfect, real hardware isn't".

Does anyone think that a laboratory quantum encryption setup is exactly the hardware that quantum encryption implementations are going to have when they are commercially available?

I've seen this before, where someone claims that product X or Y is "not secure" because they were able to obtain a passphrase via social engineering.

Re:Not really... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30601186)

I've seen this before, where someone claims that product X or Y is "not secure" because they were able to obtain a passphrase via social engineering.

It's not an entirely invalid argument, consider the difference between passphrase authentication vs. passphrase+smartcard (or securid tag, or...) If a single social engineering attack can compromise your network, it's not very secure.

The attack can be defended against easily. (1)

Interoperable (1651953) | more than 4 years ago | (#30600760)

It uses bright light to blind the single-photon detectors. Determining that your detectors are saturated isn't that hard; if they get saturated, someone's probably performing this attack and you might not want to use the key. In fact, any reasonable QKD scheme should really try to ensure that the detectors are operating properly throughout the key distribution otherwise it's a giant security hole.

is quantum encryption really theoretically perfec (1)

mr exploiter (1452969) | more than 4 years ago | (#30601052)

Quantum encryption needs a second channel that isn't vulnerable to man in the middle attack. It doesn't say how to make it, it only says that it's needed. This channel is used to transmit the polarization used, and although it doesn't transmit information related to the unencrypted data, the entire algorithm depends on the integrity of this channel not being attacked (sniffed it's OK) .

In my opinion saying that quantum encryption is theoretically perfect is misleading, as there is no probe that this secure channel can be made.

Could someone please slowly explain to me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30601690)

Could someone please slowly explain to me why I cannot intercept and regenerate as part of a man in the middle attack.

In other words, how is it that Alice knows what she is sending, without either setting it in advance or detecting it?

Re:Could someone please slowly explain to me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30601766)

It is inherently flawed... you need another secure channel, which would have to have been set up classically.

But all the faddy computer scientists and second-rate mathematicians are going in for it, so try not to burst their funding bubble.

Taking the least publishable unit to the extreme (4, Funny)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 4 years ago | (#30601898)

1. Build quantum encryption system with a security flaw in the implementation.
2. Publish!
3. Exploit the flaw.
4. Publish!
5. Fix the flaw.
6. Publish!

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