Are cortical stacks encrypted?

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NewtonPulsifer NewtonPulsifer's picture
Are cortical stacks encrypted?
I get the impression that cortical stacks are not encrypted? That seems like a very bad idea.
"I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve."- Isoroku Yamamoto
OneTrikPony OneTrikPony's picture
Hmm... thinking about it now,
Hmm... thinking about it now, I have the same impression. But why wouldn't they be? Unless it was some limitation of the carbon substrate or a write speed problem. (cortical stacks do record your whole brain state once per second.) Ah! Because the onlyone who would know the password to your cortical stack is you and you're inside the cortical stack. Basically it's just a logistical problem :D

Mea Culpa: My mode of speech can make others feel uninvited to argue or participate. This is the EXACT opposite of what I intend when I post.

NewtonPulsifer NewtonPulsifer's picture
My insurance company and/or
My insurance company and/or lawyer might have it. Heck the cops might issue a key off their mesh site for free.
"I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve."- Isoroku Yamamoto
OneTrikPony OneTrikPony's picture
the cops issuing your private
the cops issuing your private key is not very secure. Your backup insurance provider probably would issue a key, as they're the ones that issued your last morph if you're the type of guy who worries about cortical stack encryption. Of course that's only going to slow decryption down by 3-7 days. You'll probably be decanted into someones pleasure pod before anyone knows you're gone. ;)

Mea Culpa: My mode of speech can make others feel uninvited to argue or participate. This is the EXACT opposite of what I intend when I post.

NewtonPulsifer NewtonPulsifer's picture
Only public key encryption is
Only public key encryption is crackable in EP (and only then with a week and a quantum computer) from what I understand. So your encrypted stack should be safe from decryption.
"I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve."- Isoroku Yamamoto
RustedPantheress RustedPantheress's picture
Nobody really encrypts their
Nobody really encrypts their stack. One, it's a write speed limitation (once every second), so encrypting the data takes longer. Two, who holds the encryption key? And every encryption is breakable, but public key just takes way longer and requires a quantum computer (So no, using an encryption other than public key does not make your data uncrackable. In fact, it tends to make it less secure). Three, are you really worrying about people grabbing your stack and interrogating you? We have an option for that: The Dead Switch, which slags your stack. FYI, Cortical stacks have no external or wireless access, and pretty much the only way to get one out of someone involves killing them, because it's in that sort of position by the spinal cord. So no, your stack cannot, I repeat, cannot, be hacked. it can only be used to upload you into a new morph if your previous one was killed (and if your stack survived the thing that killed you, but that's usually a given).
Somebody is using bad science! Snark, facts, snark. Your body is corrupted: Cool, do more science to it. Your mind is warped: That's nice, want a cookie? What do we say to the God of Death? Not today!
OneTrikPony OneTrikPony's picture
NewtonPulsifer wrote:Only
NewtonPulsifer wrote:
Only public key encryption is crackable in EP (and only then with a week and a quantum computer) from what I understand. So your encrypted stack should be safe from decryption.
Quantum encryption is not an option. You can't quantum encrypt files only real-time communications. (p. 254, and RL for the forseeable future.) My other arguement is that the game is funner if your stack can be hacked, (pun intened ;)

Mea Culpa: My mode of speech can make others feel uninvited to argue or participate. This is the EXACT opposite of what I intend when I post.

Madwand Madwand's picture
You could easily encrypt your
You could easily encrypt your stack with a one-time pad; the (very large) pad would be stored in your mesh inserts. Your backup provider would presumably have a copy. This is risky, though: it means that if some disaster kills you and your provider, you would be dead forever. No one who rescues your stack would be able to bring you back. This isn't an unthinkable outcome, cities and habitats can be destroyed by various disasters.
NewtonPulsifer NewtonPulsifer's picture
http://en.m.wikipedia.org
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-quantum_cryptography Symmetric ciphers are not susceptible to weakness/cracking from someone's quantum computer. Public key cryptography *is*. Also, encryption isn't necessarily slow. My laptop drive is encrypted and it only reduces speed 2% from max/peak. P.S. Re: the statement "any encryption is breakable" I'm having trouble substantiating from stuff in the EP books, or from what I know about cryptography.
"I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve."- Isoroku Yamamoto
Jaberwo Jaberwo's picture
While I think that one time
While I think that one time pad encryption would make sense, I wonder if you could break it by looking at the remains of a brain, synthetic or otherwise. If it helps it probably would aid in cracking normal encyrptions as well.
NewtonPulsifer NewtonPulsifer's picture
Jaberwo wrote:While I think
Jaberwo wrote:
While I think that one time pad encryption would make sense, I wonder if you could break it by looking at the remains of a brain, synthetic or otherwise. If it helps it probably would aid in cracking normal encyrptions as well.
Head-knapping should work fine, yes. A countermeasure for that would be relatively easy to design, though. Overwrite/wipe the cyberbrain or use the cortical stack nanites to blenderize the meat brain (or set an eelware implant to internal brain cook setting). You'd want to carefully design the "death" criteria for your program, though, or someone could vegetable-ize your morph by say hacking your medical sensor implants to report symptoms consistent with decapitation.
"I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve."- Isoroku Yamamoto
RustedPantheress RustedPantheress's picture
Most people don't encrypt
Most people don't encrypt their stack: you can't access it anyways, it's located where they need to kill you to get to it, and I'm just going to flat out state that IMHO, it only interacts with an ego-bridge. There is no point to hacking a stack, it's just easier to upload the stack into a simulspace and do psychosurgery.
Somebody is using bad science! Snark, facts, snark. Your body is corrupted: Cool, do more science to it. Your mind is warped: That's nice, want a cookie? What do we say to the God of Death? Not today!
Madwand Madwand's picture
You could take someones head
You could take someones head and read it in via ego bridge, just like the TITANs did, yes. But you could not "break" the one-time pad via this method, as the pad would be erased as fast as it is used and thus will not exist on the mesh inserts anymore. The only way around that would be to physically raid the backup facility and steal their copy of the pad (which would be kept off-mesh) without somehow triggering any failsafes on it, AND somehow obtaining whatever keys are needed to break the encryption on the pad itself. Not easy. A synth is easier to defend against head-napping. A synth is still "alive" inside their head, even when it's been separated from it's body, and it can choose to encrypt or delete itself. The "easy" way around that is to hack it first.
NewtonPulsifer NewtonPulsifer's picture
RustedPantheress wrote:Most
RustedPantheress wrote:
Most people don't encrypt their stack: you can't access it anyways, it's located where they need to kill you to get to it, and I'm just going to flat out state that IMHO, it only interacts with an ego-bridge. There is no point to hacking a stack, it's just easier to upload the stack into a simulspace and do psychosurgery.
Read the description of the spare morph. You can instance directly off of a cortical stack with a cyberbrain. Ego bridges are unnecessary. I don't see ego bridges as necessary for anything but wet printing a biomorph brain or backing up a biomorph who chooses to have a cortical stack in a hard to reach place. A covert operations tool to the back of the head should be able to bridge a link to a cortical stack to dump the data, so an ego bridge for just backing up seems like overkill. If you wanted to back up a biomorph often without an ego bridge just route a dedicated access jack to your cortical stack and put a lock on it. The point with encrypting the stack is you could not even upload encrypted stack data to instance an infomorph or simulmorph without decrypting the ego data first. You'd need the crypto key or it is just garbage bits.
"I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve."- Isoroku Yamamoto
RustedPantheress RustedPantheress's picture
Cortical stacks are designed
Cortical stacks are designed to not have any physical or wireless access FOR SECURITY PURPOSES, with the exception of the spare morph (which is specialized equipment designed for gatecrashers who won't have access to resleeving facilities), so access jacks are right out. They can only be accessed by physically removing them from the body. Look at where they are: base of the skull where the brain stem and spinal cord meet. And everybody has a cortical stack. They are in there in case the morph dies. If the stack can't be retrieved, then they go to your most recent backup. The stack is not issued by a backup insurance company, it is standard equipment for everybody. So, who holds and provides the encryption? What about jurisdiction? Your backup is held in secure storage, and is encrypted (presumably). And I said it before, there's an option for people who are worried about getting egonapped:
Quote:
Dead Switch: This cortical stack (p. 300) accessory is designed to keep the stack from falling into the wrong hands. If the morph is killed, the dead switch wipes and melts the cortical stack completely, so that the ego cannot be recovered. This option is generally only used by covert operatives with recent backups. [Low] -[i]EP Core Rulebook page 306[/i]
Personally, the entire idea doesn't make sense to me. Here's what I can tell of the assumptions that you guys are making: 1) That it's possible to interface with a stack without using an ego bridge or a specialized synthmorph (The spare morph); 2) That egonapping and soul-trading is common enough that measures against it are widely used; and 3) That a backup insurance company is going to hand over the encryption key that it had to BUILD INTO your stack to some request for it when for all they know you've been egonapped and the soultraders need the key to sell you. It just doesn't make sense to me. To me, it causes more problems than it solves.
Somebody is using bad science! Snark, facts, snark. Your body is corrupted: Cool, do more science to it. Your mind is warped: That's nice, want a cookie? What do we say to the God of Death? Not today!
NewtonPulsifer NewtonPulsifer's picture
RustedPantheress wrote
RustedPantheress wrote:
Cortical stacks are designed to not have any physical or wireless access FOR SECURITY PURPOSES, with the exception of the spare morph (which is specialized equipment designed for gatecrashers who won't have access to resleeving facilities), so access jacks are right out. They can only be accessed by physically removing them from the body. Look at where they are: base of the skull where the brain stem and spinal cord meet. And everybody has a cortical stack. They are in there in case the morph dies. If the stack can't be retrieved, then they go to your most recent backup. The stack is not issued by a backup insurance company, it is standard equipment for everybody.
I don't think an unencrypted stack is secure. 1 minute and elbow grease is all that's required to get it. That's like just locking up my house. Why not also encrypt the usb key I have laying about in my house that contains very private and sensitive data?
RustedPantheress wrote:
So, who holds and provides the encryption?
Whomever you want. Without encryption, that's equivalent to "everybody". A will could cover this detail. Even just using public key encryption as a deterrent isn't a bad idea. At least then the stack nabber needs a week and a quantum computer at cost [Expensive] to decrypt your stack. Assuming a 1% per day rental rate, that amounts to 1400 credits of effort for the criminal to decrypt your ego (and gives investigators at least a week to recover the stack). I'd wrap the stack data with a public key encryption wrapper around the symmetric key encryption file just to screw with the stack-napper, myself.
RustedPantheress wrote:
What about jurisdiction? Your backup is held in secure storage, and is encrypted (presumably). And I said it before, there's an option for people who are worried about getting egonapped:
Quote:
Dead Switch: This cortical stack (p. 300) accessory is designed to keep the stack from falling into the wrong hands. If the morph is killed, the dead switch wipes and melts the cortical stack completely, so that the ego cannot be recovered. This option is generally only used by covert operatives with recent backups. [Low] -[i]EP Core Rulebook page 306[/i]
Dead Switch feels like a solution looking for a problem to me. Presumably your cortical stack somehow knows when you're dead, right? Otherwise it could overwrite the stack with molecular data of week old rotten brain. Isn't it simpler to program your stack to overwrite itself with junk if you die? Also, the Dead Switch is only useful if the morph dies. What if the morph isn't dead, just unconscious?
RustedPantheress wrote:
Personally, the entire idea doesn't make sense to me. Here's what I can tell of the assumptions that you guys are making: 1) That it's possible to interface with a stack without using an ego bridge or a specialized synthmorph (The spare morph);
There's no evidence the spare morph is a specialized synthmorph that I can find? Couldn't one pull a synthmorph's cortical stack with a similar amount of effort to pulling a biomorph's stack - 1 minute, tools, and elbow grease? I'm guessing less messy. Just as easily slot in the new cortical stack as you would a spare morph once you've opened things up. Flick the cyberbrain switch to FIRMWARE UPDATE mode, and copy/boot it up. I don't see why this wouldn't work with any synthmorph.
RustedPantheress wrote:
2) That egonapping and soul-trading is common enough that measures against it are widely used;
This is an extremely relevant risk if you have sensitive data, yes. It's not just the ego that matters, but the secrets and access codes they possess. Even for regular people (not just hypercorp researchers or Firewall agents) this could be important - somebody could clean out your bank accounts.
RustedPantheress wrote:
3) That a backup insurance company is going to hand over the encryption key that it had to BUILD INTO your stack to some request for it when for all they know you've been egonapped and the soultraders need the key to sell you.
I must admit I'm confused on this one. Wouldn't the backup insurance company insist on the stack (or a dump of its contents) being delivered to their custody? And then they would decrypt it themselves and re-instance their customer?
RustedPantheress wrote:
It just doesn't make sense to me. To me, it causes more problems than it solves.
I disagree. It might be just the thing for some, and not important for others.
"I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve."- Isoroku Yamamoto
NewtonPulsifer NewtonPulsifer's picture
RustedPantheress wrote:Most
RustedPantheress wrote:
Most people don't encrypt their stack: you can't access it anyways, it's located where they need to kill you to get to it, and I'm just going to flat out state that IMHO, it only interacts with an ego-bridge. There is no point to hacking a stack, it's just easier to upload the stack into a simulspace and do psychosurgery.
http://eclipsephaserules.wikia.com/wiki/Cortical_Stack You don't necessarily need to kill someone to remove their cortical stack. It's a Medicine +20 roll, causing 3d10+10 damage, minus 1d10 per 10 full points of MoS. Failure causes 1d10+10. Critical failure is up to the GMs sick imagination :) Note you can get another +10 with a utilitool to your Medicine roll, +20 if they're Wrist Mounted Tools (de rigeur for the stack-knapper I'm sure). That's a total of +40, not counting other possible bonuses. Give them MRDR to give them 10 extra Durability if they're frail and you have the time to wait for it to take effect.
"I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve."- Isoroku Yamamoto
OneTrikPony OneTrikPony's picture
arguments against;
Part A: If you can take a persons [u]encrypted[/u] cortical stack against their objections and with impunity you can also take their [u]unencrypted[/b] brain/cyberbrain. Encryption of the stack is moot and useless in those circumstances. Part B: 90 percent of people who count on thier cortical stack being recovered either don't want it encrypted because they want to be reinstanced or don't want to be reinstanced from their cortical stack because they don't want to deal with the stress of experiencing death. Exampes: Gate crasher explorers don't know who might recover their stack can't count on someone bothering to call thier lawyer on another world for the key. Industrial workers who are unlucky enough to die working or get spaced. Encryption of the stack is moot and undesirable in most circumstances. Part C: You're a spy or other nefarious person who cares deeply about no one being able to access your stack and thus have a *special* stack. Options are supplied in the game material for this allready as has been mentioned in posts above. The absence of a cortical stack, or a dead switch, and the proposed "blenderizing" of the brain is much more fail safe in EP tech than any proposed encryption that might be implemented in carbon. Also; according to the wiki link provided symetric key encryption [b]is not uncrackable[/b] by quantum computing
NewtonPulsifer wrote:
Symmetric ciphers are not susceptible to weakness/cracking from someone's quantum computer. [and] I'd wrap the stack data with a public key encryption wrapper around the symmetric key encryption file just to screw with the stack-napper, myself.
[b]Except[/b]
wikipedia wrote:
post-quantum cryptography does not focus on symmetric algorithms.
[b]Because[/b]
wikipedia wrote:
most current symmetric cryptography (symmetric ciphers and hash functions) is secure from quantum computers. The quantum Grover's algorithm can speed up attacks against symmetric ciphers, but this can be counteracted by increasing key size.
[b]So,[/b]There's better tech to accomplish this in game already, Symmetric algorithms just create a bigger-number-vs.-more-powerful-computer scenario, and if we're dealing with hypotheticals of the EP universe this battle could be considered resolved. Which could easily be the reason that quantum encryption is specifically stated as not working on files.
NewtonPulsifer wrote:
1 minute and elbow grease is all that's required to get it.
This makes the HUGE assumption that the stack knapper culprit can get away with popping a live person's stack. (Indecently, if this turns out not to be murder it's certainly torture and aggravated assault.) Given that situation and uncrackable files encryption you just escalated the situation to Head-Knapping meaning that stack encryption equates to a cranial bomb cause you'll need both to be sure your data is secure. My point: Exactly the same number of people are going to encrypt their stack as will have a head "blenderizer" installed.
NewtonPulsifer wrote:
Also, encryption isn't necessarily slow. My laptop drive is encrypted and it only reduces speed 2% from max/peak.
Not a fair comparison in all likely hood. This was discussed a long time ago. Encoding a complete brain state in carbon [i]every second[/i] is highly improbable in the first place. Assuming that (which ever encryption you decide will actually work) incurred only a 2% reduction in write speed in an entirely different paradigm is pretty highly speculative.
Madwand wrote:
A synth is easier to defend against head-napping. A synth is still "alive" inside their head, even when it's been separated from it's body, and it can choose to encrypt or delete itself.
There are some major assumptions here; 1, that a synth's cyberbrain is in it's head. A. that's a terrible place to put a cyber brain if you're synthetic--primarily for the reason you mention. B. How many synthetic morphs actually have heads? 2. If you're talking about the cyber brain as opposed to an anatomical head. My answer of "No" when you say that they're somehow alive upon it's removal is as valid as anyone's answer to the contrary. I'm 99% certain that there's no supporting material for the argument. There's not even any sporting material suggesting that a cyber brain is a contiguous unit that can be removed of a piece. 3. Assuming that it is somehow possible to remove a cyber brain from a synthetic body without ceasing opperation... never mind. Stack encryption would be a house rule. If it's determined to be possible at your table it should probably be rare because it changes the setting, in an un-fun way.

Mea Culpa: My mode of speech can make others feel uninvited to argue or participate. This is the EXACT opposite of what I intend when I post.

Madwand Madwand's picture
OneTrikPony wrote:There are
OneTrikPony wrote:
There are some major assumptions here; 1, that a synth's cyberbrain is in it's head. A. that's a terrible place to put a cyber brain if you're synthetic--primarily for the reason you mention. B. How many synthetic morphs actually have heads? 2. If you're talking about the cyber brain as opposed to an anatomical head. My answer of "No" when you say that they're somehow alive upon it's removal is as valid as anyone's answer to the contrary. I'm 99% certain that there's no supporting material for the argument. There's not even any sporting material suggesting that a cyber brain is a contiguous unit that can be removed of a piece. 3. Assuming that it is somehow possible to remove a cyber brain from a synthetic body without ceasing opperation... never mind. Stack encryption would be a house rule. If it's determined to be possible at your table it should probably be rare because it changes the setting, in an un-fun way.
Wow, you really like to pick a fight with everyone, don't you? I actually agree with many of your points. Regardless, I'll address your reply to me. The best place to place a cyberbrain is a matter of opinion. It is my opionion that on a humanoid chassis, the head is a good location, for the same reason it's a good location on humans. It's close to the senses. The shape of a skull is also well-suited to adding additional armor. Finally, the torso is better put to other uses, such as internal fabricators. There's also tradition. That's just me, though. Put your cyberbrain anywhere you want it. As for how many synths have heads... most of them (check the core). My assertion that processing can remain after head removal has support both in reality and in core. First, of course, there is the reality -- which we learn from modern robotics -- that robots do not require a complex life-support system to support their processing, as biomorphs do. That's one of the primary advantages of synths, too, and this is reflected by the rules. I quote:
Core, p. 207 wrote:
If you are morphed in a synthetic shell, Durability represents your structural integrity. You become physically disabled when accumulated damage points reach your Durability. Though your computer systems are likely still functioning and you can still mesh, your morph is broken and immobile until repaired.
So even when your morph is broken, you can still think, and choose to delete or encrypt your mind. Whether this still applies after decapitation is up to your GM, but you'll have a strong argument for if, like me, you actually built your morph with this possibility in mind.
OneTrikPony OneTrikPony's picture
Um, didn't feel like I was
Um, didn't feel like I was picking a fight when I was typing... (just responding to that first line immediately, will review and edit if I feel like apologies are in order or If I have anything more to say.) ... sorry you were offended, Madwand. Not sure why. You're welcome to PM me with specifics if you'd like an apology. It will be given freely. [b]As to the Location of the Cyberbrain[/b]
Madwand wrote:
The best place to place a cyberbrain is a matter of opinion. It is my opionion that on a humanoid chassis, the head is a good location, for the same reason it's a good location on humans. It's close to the senses.
that's true it is a mater of opinion. However if all engineers of *humanoid* robots from ASIMO to today were polled where would you guess they put their robot's "Brains"? It's a pretty good guess (by people who study evolution) that the brain is in the skull of mammals because the eyes are in the skull of mammals. The skull is a good place for eyes and data gets to it's destination quicker along slow neural tissue if the path is shorter. However that's probably not a design consideration in things built with super conductors, or even copper wires.
Madwand wrote:
Finally, the torso is better put to other uses, such as internal fabricators.
I need to make sure we're talking about the same thing here. First when you say synths I can't figgure out if you're talking about all synthetic morphs or the [u]Synth[/u] from EP Core. Either way, I am unaware of any standard morph with internal fabricators, I'm absolutely certain that the Synth morph from core does not have internal fabricators.
Madwand wrote:
As for how many synths have heads... most of them (check the core).
Are we limiting the discussion to Synths, synthetic morphs from EP Core, all humanoid synthetics or all synthetic morphs? Even if you're only choosing to consider synthetics in the core the score is 4/8 headless and I'm even counting the dragonfly as having a head which is questionable. [b]But let's give the head thing a rest[/b] and talk about something less tangential to the point of the thread, The Cyber brain
Madwand wrote:
My assertion that processing can remain after [cyber brain] removal has support both in reality and in core. First, of course, there is the reality -- which we learn from modern robotics -- that robots do not require a complex life-support system to support their processing, as biomorphs do.
So there are no ancillary systems that support the processors of a modern robot? Power Source, power supply, system buss with *myriad* connections to memory, storage, subsystems and peripherals? Which part (singular) can you take out of the modern robot and achieve processing? Most modern robots don't actually have on board processing. Even in the unnecessary architecture that dictates a cyber brain be a single piece of hardware I cannot imagine that it "plugs in" to a single huge I/O port of some type. I'm also doubtful that it carries it's own power on board with enough juice to carryout the 10^16 calculations/sec that it would take, (with extremely efficient codeing) to emulate a modern human brain.
Madwand wrote:
So even when your morph is broken, you can still think, and choose to delete or encrypt your mind. Whether this still applies after [removing the cyber brain] is up to your GM, but you'll have a strong argument for if, like me, you actually built your morph...
The quote from p.207 is compelling but if we're considering the metagame I'd point out that your morph is not disabled in anyway if damage points have accumulated to DUR-1. There is no rule as to how much damage removal of the cyber brain would produce. But as a GM one of my metagame issues is parity and I'd have to declare that if someone removes your brain (or hacks off your head), you die until you're healed or repaired. [b]However; I agree that in lieu of rules it is up to the GM. Sometimes the "science" needs to support the story or the character and I think when you're talking about the subject you have the morph you built in mind. In that case I fully support your vision of your morph.[/b]

Mea Culpa: My mode of speech can make others feel uninvited to argue or participate. This is the EXACT opposite of what I intend when I post.

Madwand Madwand's picture
Nah, I don't think you were
Nah, I don't think you were using "fightin' words". It's just when anyone starts point-by-point addressing of multiple peoples posts, it often leads to arguments. No big deal.
NewtonPulsifer NewtonPulsifer's picture
OneTrikPony wrote:
OneTrikPony wrote:
Stack encryption would be a house rule. If it's determined to be possible at your table it should probably be rare because it changes the setting, in an un-fun way.
Madwand, I think the grumpiness might misdirected anger at me making the EP setting un-fun. OneTrikPony might be a guy who likes his EP to be self-consistent, so this could be a bitter pill. Hear that whistling sound? It's the air blowing through the giant plot hole I just pointed out in half the EP adventures out there :)~ We've made it through denial and anger, we'll now do the bargaining, depression, and acceptance. I'm kidding! If infeasibly defeatable file encryption is un-fun for your gaming style, then just say it isn't possible in your EP setting. Done!
"I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve."- Isoroku Yamamoto
RustedPantheress RustedPantheress's picture
Yeah, but we need to bash out
Yeah, but we need to bash out reasons as to why it's not done. It's just one of those things, where the technology makes it possible, but no one thinks of doing it, or doing it is seen as too impractical. To me, an encrypted stack is [i]too[/i] paranoid for the setting, with those who do have being seen as 1) really really really paranoid, like, "The Hypercorps, the Autonomists, and the Factors are all in league with the TITANs to take over the galaxy and reduce us to slaves in lizard bodies!" kind of paranoid (Think of the craziest conspiracy theorists you can. "Asbestos was removed from buildings because it stopped the mind control, the [Dominant Political Party] is in league with the Lizard People from Alpha Centauri and is lead by Hitler's brain in a jar, etc...") and 2) really really really willing to trust that they will never die away from where their insurance provider is located (And that the provider hasn't done anything with the encryption or isn't subverted... Did I mention the paranoia?). I would also make it really expensive (does 60k+ sound right?) and rare.
Somebody is using bad science! Snark, facts, snark. Your body is corrupted: Cool, do more science to it. Your mind is warped: That's nice, want a cookie? What do we say to the God of Death? Not today!
OneTrikPony OneTrikPony's picture
After two hours of wiki and a
After two hours of wiki and a review of the book crypto by steven levy (admitidly it's out of date but the only trusted source I can hold in my hand right now), I'm really questioning weather strong post-quantum crypto will be possible. (Which is terrifying IRL no mater how much it preserves my in game fun. ;) Like the wiki says symmetric ciphers counter with increasing key size, which will be countered with more powerful quantum computers. Accelerating returns on technology will outstrip our ability to have relevant ideas to counter the problems the tech produces. Symmetric ciphers aren't considered post-quantum encryption. so you're left with Lattice based cryptograpy;
Wiki wrote:
In terms of security, lattice-based cryptographic constructions can be divided into two types. The first includes practical proposals, which are typically very efficient, but often lack a supporting proof of security. The second type admits strong provable security guarantees based on the worst-case hardness of lattice problems, but only a few of them are sufficiently efficient to be used in practice.
Which at levels of proven security against quantum crackers is to inefficient to implement on anything that isn't a quantum processor. Or Multivariate cryptography which looks promising but;
wiki wrote:
Today multivariate quadratics could be used only to build signatures. All attempts to build a secure encryption scheme have so far failed.
Or Code Based cryptography: the McEliece system.
wiki wrote:
In 2008, Bernstein, Lange and Peters[6] described a practical attack on the original McEliece cryptosystem, based on finding low-weight code words using an algorithm published by Jacques Stern in 1989.[9] Using the parameters originally suggested by McEliece, the attack could be carried out in 260.55 bit operations. Since the attack is embarrassingly parallel (no communication between nodes is necessary), it can be carried out in days on modest computer clusters.
So what am I missing? Possibly the idea that real quantum computing will lead us to real quantum cryptology but I'm not seeing how any of this is remotely indicative of a [b]"Giant plot Hole"[/b] Seriously; everyone here has had more education than me. Help a Brutha out! {all quotes can be found on their respective links on this page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-quantum_cryptography} About the "Un-Fun". I totally deserve to get giggd on that one. My point about fun is that there's damn few reasons to do violence in this setting. Popping a stack is one of them but it's nearly impossible to get away with given the surveillance environment. Having to take a whole head for the same purposes would just sux. I think grumpy is how I seem when I'm trying to type my point. I guarantee no one would feel that way if we were having this convo f2f.

Mea Culpa: My mode of speech can make others feel uninvited to argue or participate. This is the EXACT opposite of what I intend when I post.

NewtonPulsifer NewtonPulsifer's picture
Very true. If it was f2f, the
Very true. If it was f2f, the convo would start with you to me "dude; put some clothes on!" On the intartubes, nobody knows yer nekkid. There's the whole lack of tone and facial expressions too. Except for emoticons I guess. d:D My emoticon is wearing a cap.
"I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve."- Isoroku Yamamoto
NewtonPulsifer NewtonPulsifer's picture
It's true symmetric cyphers
It's true symmetric cyphers aren't uncrackable with brute force. It's just that it becomes incredibly expensive. Take AES 128bit and 256bit for example. A 256bit key has 2^128 more keyspace than a 128bit key. Assume a 10^30 speed up for an EP ecto compared to today's computers, and you still haven't put enough of a dent in that 256bit AES keyspace. It's still going to take many many CPU years (something like 10^26 years). Will quantum computing provide a speedup? Absolutely. Huge ones. But it is still just not enough. You can just go from 256bit AES keys to say 2048bit AES keys. The keyspace goes up faster than the quantum algorithm can help, and the speed slowdown from bigger keys is basically linear (8x slower for the 8x bigger key, but that's acceptable - we have a 10^31 times faster computer). That's why quantum computing upsetting symmetric cipher strength isn't a concern. Public key encryption is very vulnerable, however. And properly implemented one time pads are unbreakable no matter the computational resources. EDIT: To elaborate, Grover's quantum algorithm basically halves the key length. Very significant, but just not that big of a deal to work around.
"I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve."- Isoroku Yamamoto
Madwand Madwand's picture
NewtonPulsifer is correct.
NewtonPulsifer is correct. Eclipse Phase quantum computers are basically "magic", they work unrealistically well (as in, *at all*). It's because quantum computers are a new and cool idea, so of course it has to go in the latest sci-fi game. I wouldn't worry about the future of encryption much.
NewtonPulsifer NewtonPulsifer's picture
I thought I read EP quantum
I thought I read EP quantum computers could only crack public key encryption? That would be stuff like your everyday mesh traffic, like text messages. They still can't decrypt shared/symmetric key traffic or encrypted files. So they're feasible, not so much magical. Everyday banking might use a physically given item to share private keys, like the RSA keychain fobs today, to avoid public key weakness. Pick it up at a farcaster equipped ATM. EDIT: I just reread the breaking encryption in the EP book. They mention public key crypto but failed to mention private key crypto. Developer oops!
"I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve."- Isoroku Yamamoto
Jaberwo Jaberwo's picture
So you can still encrypt data
So you can still encrypt data and communications with nearly unbreakable methods (other than one time pads), but you need to transmit the key safely? And how unbreakable are they, given that one uses several cubic meters of silicon/carbon/whatever arranged to form a regular (i. e. not quantum) computer?
NewtonPulsifer NewtonPulsifer's picture
Jaberwo wrote:So you can
Jaberwo wrote:
So you can still encrypt data and communications with nearly unbreakable methods (other than one time pads), but you need to transmit the key safely? And how unbreakable are they, given that one uses several cubic meters of silicon/carbon/whatever arranged to form a regular (i. e. not quantum) computer?
Symmetric ciphers when implemented correctly are effectively unbreakable, yes, even by quantum computers. They're also quite fast (so they don't slow things down much). Their weakness is anybody who gets a copy of the key (shared by sender and reciever) gets the keys to the castle. This key can be sniffed during the transfer, or copied from the sender or receiver if they need to hang onto it. So transmitting and storing the key safely is essential. P.S. Keep in mind even people who have symmetric keys stored somewhere can encrypt *those* keys with another method (at least public key cryptography), and probably would as standard procedure. So even if you nab a copy of the symmetric keys sitting on a fileserver you're going to need that quantum computer access for a week to crack their envelope. EDIT: This doesn't really help with stack-knapping because the private key is going to be stored on the cortical stack, presumably when it is installed. The cortical stack would wipe the key from itself when you die or it detects a wierdness. So the stack-knapper would realistically need to kidnap the whole morph and carefully access it while the person is under anaesthesia and pray they can get past the stack's physical countermeasures. But at that point it would be easier to just use an ego-bridge and copy their brain. Keep in mind an ego-bridge would be foiled by nanophages, however, so you'd need to pull the nanophage hive and then wait for the nanophages to die off (or kill them off, but you could just as likely kill the morph doing that).
"I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve."- Isoroku Yamamoto
nezumi.hebereke nezumi.hebereke's picture
As a GM, I rule:
As a GM, I rule: 1) Stacks by default are unencrypted (or minimally encrypted), incremental-back devices. 2) The stack relies on solid-state, hardware controls for almost everything (to avoid hacking), which prevents easy modification of an installed stack. 3) Stacks with different capabilities can be acquired pretty easily, including encryption, delay in backup, double-backups, uploading to a remote host, etc. 4) Since non-quantum encryption is 'beaten' by quantum computers (albeit, with a significant price), and quantum encryption is expensive, time- and space-consuming, any sort of ego encryption can be beaten if you're worth enough. The stack idea is brilliant in a way, but it's one of those fringe cases where you find your needs for Confidentiality and Availability/Integrity are at odds. Most people choose the latter (it's most important to be alive), but some people will choose the former (dead but secure is acceptable).
NewtonPulsifer NewtonPulsifer's picture
Non-quantum file encryption
Non-quantum file encryption is unfeasibly breakable in EP. The developers just neglected to mention it specifically. Otherwise you could print crypto-cred with a quantum computer.
"I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve."- Isoroku Yamamoto