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Unformatted text preview: s first public interview on the subject, commented to Joe Abernathy of The Houston Chronicle on allegations about a trapdoor in DSS : Regarding the alleged trapdoor in the DSS. We find the term trapdoor somewhat misleading since it implies that the messages sent by the DSS are encrypted and with access via a trapdoor one could somehow decrypt (read) the message without the sender’s knowledge. The DSS does not encrypt any data. The real issue is whether the DSS is susceptible to someone forging a signature and therefore discrediting the entire system. We state categorically that the chances of anyone—including NSA—forging a signature with the DSS when it is properly used and implemented is infinitesimally small. Furthermore, the alleged trapdoor vulnerability is true for any public key-based authentication system, including RSA. To imply somehow that this only affects the DSS (a popular argument in the press) is totally misleading. The issue is one of implementation and how one goes about selecting prime numbers. We call your attention to a recent EUROCRYPT conference which had a panel discussion on the issue of trapdoors in the DSS. Included on the panel was one of the Bellcore researchers who initially raised the trapdoor allegation, and our understanding is that the panel—including the person from Bellcore—concluded that the alleged trapdoor was not an issue for the DSS. Furthermore, the general consensus appeared to be that the trapdoor issue was trivial and had been overblown in the press. However, to try to respond to the trapdoor allegation, at NIST’s request, we have designed a prime generation process which will ensure that one can avoid selection of the relatively few weak primes which could lead to weakness in using the DSS. Additionally, NIST intends to allow for larger modulus sizes up to 1024 which effectively negates the need to even use the prime generation process to avoid weak primes. An additional very important point that is often overlooked is that with the DSS the primes are public and therefore can be subj...
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This note was uploaded on 10/18/2010 for the course MATH CS 301 taught by Professor Aliulger during the Fall '10 term at Koç University.
- Fall '10