Home > cryptography, humour > Journal of Craptology, volume 6 released

Journal of Craptology, volume 6 released

Are you studying or involved in cryptography? Looking for some fresh academic literature besides PHD Comics? Then look no further than volume 6 of the Journal of Craptology.

In this latest installment, M.P. Abramson and W.J. Layton detail an idea to delay any attack against a cryptographic algorithm. The idea is very simple and most if not all people involved in computing would have come across it. I’m talking about none other than patents (well, food and sleep come to my mind as well). First, if you’ve designed a really cool new hip cryptographic algorithm that you think beats the bit bucket out of all existing competing algorithms, then you can patent your algorithm. To collect royalties on your years of toil, you can license your patented algorithm to anyone or any organization who’s willing to fork over the cash. As an added protection, you can specify in the licensing terms that users are not allowed to cryptanalyze your algorithm. But if somehow an attack against your algorithm emerges in the literature, then you can implement that attack and apply for a patent claiming that the idea is now on how to recover lost keys. These brilliant ideas are just the tip of an iceberg. Abramson and Layton also suggest that you patent the method of patenting an attack against a cryptographic algorithm. For further details, refer to their paper On Repairing Broken Cryptographic Algorithms.

The paper How to Trivially Perform Identify Theft, and How to Prevent It by R.R. Martin shows in just one page how you can prevent identity theft against yourself. The two most famous people in the cryptology world are Alice and Bob. If your name happens to be either Alice or Bob, then you should definitely change it to something else. I suggest “Jane Doe” or “John Smith” as these names rarely, if ever, occur in cryptology.

D.A. Madore’s paper Perfect Localized Security of the Fourtytwofish Cipher in the Delphic Oracle Model talks about how to achieve a great measure of security with the Fourtytwofish cipher. The paper starts off with the venerable history of Fourtytwofish cipher, whose world-famous predecessors were the Blowfish and Twofish ciphers by Schneier. It then goes on to discuss in some details about security, with a particular focus on localized security, and then moving on to the notion of an oracle. The latter concept is a very powerful theoretical tool for cryptology, not least because it has recently demonstrated its prowess by subsuming (the) Sun. Some experts have speculated that the fish family of ciphers actually has its origin in Dr. Seuss’ classic cipher One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, which didn’t catch on because of the fiendishly long name.

Finally, J. Birkett discusses the problem of the travelling cryptographer. The author does so not by using arcane publication technologies like books or journal papers, but by distributing the research result via a (MeAnd)YouTube video. Known as the travelling cryptographers problem, it was believed to have been proposed as a method for travelling salesmen and women to solve the problem of wifi insecurity. This common computer and network security problem that travelling salespeople encounter is commonly referred to in the literature as the travelling salesman problem.

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