According to another top official also involved with the program, the NSA made an enormous breakthrough several years ago in its ability to cryptanalyze, or break, unfathomably complex encryption systems employed by not only governments around the world but also many average computer users in the US. The upshot, according to this official: “Everybody’s a target; everybody with communication is a target.”


The breakthrough was enormous, says the former official, and soon afterward the agency pulled the shade down tight on the project, even within the intelligence community and Congress. “Only the chairman and vice chairman and the two staff directors of each intelligence committee were told about it,” he says. The reason? “They were thinking that this computing breakthrough was going to give them the ability to crack current public encryption.”

2 Responses to “Bluffdale”

  1. atma says:

    Follow up on the article: http://www.forbes.com/sites/andygreenberg/2012/03/20/nsa-chief-denies-wireds-domestic-spying-story-fourteen-times-in-congressional-hearing/

    I’ve always trusted Blowfish more than AES because of it’s source. Too bad Intel does not support BF yet.

  2. cosmix says:

    Great link and video, Panayoti. Thanks.

    Blowfish is quite old and you may safely assume it is easier to break than most modern algorithms. In fact, Schneier’s Twofish, its successor, was one of the five finalists for AES at the turn of the century that lost to Rijndael which became the standard. In other words, if NSA has the technical or mathematical capability to break Rijndael/AES, you can be fairly confident it can break blowfish. I think AES-256 is probably your best bet right now as far as symmetric encryption is concerned.

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