random comments on computer security

The media coverage of Bicoin’s rise to world fame (and disrepute) is filled with assertions that Bitcoin is essentially worthless: it’s not a store of value; it does not represent any goods or services; etc. I disagree. Bitcoins are a series of zeros and ones; more specifically, bitcoins are part of a public ledger of […]

My favorite dubious news story of the day: Google chairman Eric Schmidt tells the crowd at South by Southwest that the company’s efforts to secure its user data from attacks are now complete. (CNET) Maybe. But there’s a problem. Schmidt has only secured Google user data against NSA attacks from outside the company. What if […]

The following summary of “Bitcoin Thefts, Scams, and Losses” shows that a total of approximately 1,645,182 bitcoins (1.6 million) have been stolen, taken by some type of scam, confiscated by the government or lost in some other way. This figure includes the recently-disclosed theft of 850,000 BTC from Mt.Gox and nearly 900 BTC from Flexcoin. […]

Suppose that you want to hide messages in digital photos. You can change the least significant bits of the file, without changing the image much. The problem is that the changes in the file can be detected. The least significant bits are not random, but when they are changed to an encrypted message, those bits […]

I. Features: 1. Verification that each ballot was printed and issued by proper authority. 2. Exclusion of fake ballots. 3. Exclusion of multiple copies of any valid ballot. 4. Open verification system: verification database can be revealed publicly or shared with third party without compromising validation. 5. Hacker-resistant system: hackers who obtain verification database cannot […]

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