05 Jan Some encryption protocols hard-tocrack, leaked NSA documents show
While many encryption protocols have been broken—or worked around&—by the National Security Agency and other intelligence organizations, Internet users hoping to keep their information and communications private should not be entirely disheartened, according to a presentation Dec. 29 at the Chaos Communications Congress hacking convention.
Based on the information from the archive of leaked Snowden documents, the presentation identified the communications technologies, such as Skype, that the NSA routinely monitors and from which it collects data. Yet other technologies—such as the onion routing protocol used by the TOR network and the Zimmerman Real-Time Protocol (ZRTP) used to encrypt communications by voice over IP service providers, such as Silent Circle—have hobbled the agency’s data collection plans, according to documents allegedly leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and cited by the two presenters, privacy activist Jacob Appelbaum and documentarian Laura Poitras.
“There have … been some victories for privacy, with certain encryption systems proving to be so robust they have been tried and true standards for more than 20 years,” they stated in an article published in Der Spiegel with other co-authors and based on the same research.