Unformatted text preview: ocol; see Section 23.3.) (3) Alice sends this signed message to Bob via Walter. (4) Walter reads the innocuous message and checks the signature. Finding nothing amiss, he passes the signed message to Bob. (5) Bob checks the signature on the innocuous message, confirming that the message came from Alice. (6) Bob ignores the innocuous message and, using the secret key he shares with Alice, extracts the subliminal message. What about cheating? Walter doesn’t trust anyone and no one trusts him. He can always prevent communication, but he has no way of introducing phony messages. Since he can’t generate any valid signatures, Bob will detect his attempt in step (5). And since he does not know the shared key, he can’t read the subliminal messages. Even more important, he has no idea that the subliminal messages are there. Signed messages using a digital signature algorithm look no different from signed messages with subliminal messages embedded in the signature. Cheating between Alice and Bob is more problematic. In some implementations of a subliminal channel, the secret information Bob needs to read the subliminal message is the same information Alice needs to sign the innocuous message. If this is the case, Bob can impersonate Alice. He can sign messages purporting to come from her, and there is nothing Alice can do about it. If she is to send him subliminal messages, she has to trust him not to abuse her private key. Other subliminal channel implementations don’t have this problem. A secret key shared by Alice and Bob allows Alice to send Bob subliminal messages, but it is not the same as Alice’s private key and does not allow Bob to sign messages. Alice need not trust Bob not to abuse her private key. Applications of Subliminal Channel
The most obvious application of the subliminal channel is in a spy network. If everyone sends and receives signed messages, spies will not be noticed sending subliminal messages in signed documents. Of course, the enemy’s spies can do the same thing. Using a subliminal channel, Alice could safely sign a document under threat. She would, when signing the document, imbed the subliminal m...
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- Fall '10
- Cryptography, Bruce Schneier, Applied Cryptography, EarthWeb, Search Search Tips