Unformatted text preview: to do. There may be different passwords for different files. Manual encryption of selected files is the only access control. There will be a performance penalty. The driver may interact in weird ways with Windows, OS/2 DOS emulation, device drivers, and so on. The first is speed. As we will see in Part III, encryption algorithms consist of many complicated operations on plaintext bits. These are not the sorts of operations that are built into your run-of-the-mill computer. The two most common encryption algorithms, DES and RSA, run inefficiently on general-purpose processors. While some cryptographers have tried to make their algorithms more suitable for software implementation, specialized hardware will always win a speed race. Additionally, encryption is often a computation-intensive task. Tying up the computer’s primary processor for this is inefficient. Moving encryption to another chip, even if that chip is just another processor, makes the whole system faster. The second reason is security. An encryption algorithm running on a generalized computer has no physical protection. Mallory can go in with various debugging tools and surreptitiously modify the algorithm without anyone ever realizing it. Hardware encryption devices can be securely encapsulated to prevent this. Tamperproof boxes can prevent someone from modifying a hardware encryption device. Special-purpose VLSI chips can be coated with a chemical such that any attempt to access their interior will result in the destruction of the chip’s logic. The U.S. government’s Clipper and Capstone chips (see Sections 24.16 and 24.17) are designed to be tamperproof. The chips can be designed so that it is impossible for Mallory to read the unencrypted key. IBM developed a cryptographic system for encrypting data and communications on mainframe computers [515,1027]. It includes tamper-resistant modules to hold keys. This system is discussed in Section 24.1. Electromagnetic radiation can sometimes reveal what is going on inside a piece of electronic equipment. Dedicated encryption boxes can be shielded, so that they leak n...
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- Fall '10
- Cryptography, Bruce Schneier, Applied Cryptography, EarthWeb, Search Search Tips