We have all been duped (at least those of us outside the USA), for a very, very, very long time regarding our own sovereignty.
Just when you thought you had great security in place by using Crypto AG hardware (Switzerland) and, maybe, you or your company stayed outside the grasp of 'Big Brother', you get a big wake up call.
It's that awful moment when you find out Big Brother made and serviced your crypto gear all along when, ALL your Data and Communications, via backdoor "port mirroring' of all data flowing over your application's data sockets or streams, was stored off-line for later decryption (yeah they had the keys too) by 'big ass' Super Computers (so called HPC Data centers owned by Big Brother) . For port mirroring to be ultra fast and 'hidden' the logic is embedded in the hardware, typically implemented in C language or Macro -Assembler, and maybe be even 'hand-coded' in assembler 'machine language' . (I am glad my push, poke, peep, pop days are behind me..;) ) This often means the vendor has full knowledge this is going on, as the port mirroring functionality or logic is wired into the overall system logic at least at the PCB "Printed Circuit Board" level and, more often or not these days right in the purpose-built hardware chips, after the first versions are proved in FPGAs or ASICs.
UGH. It doesn't get any uglier than this.
So what do do about it? Curl up in a corner, cowering, waiting for the men in full-length grey raincoats to carry you away? Nope.
'Get Crypto-Proofed, the Blockchain way'.
Below. I share a few simple ways to go about Crypto-Proofing your online life, your business, and maybe even your country and government (If you can trust the latter to do the right thing in this regard, a tall order for most.)
Before I jump into these very important life changing Crypto-Proofing Tips, let me say this:
What else is new?
Nothing these days surprises me nor should it you, when such revelations about Crypto AG surface in the Main Stream Media regarding who really owns your security infrastructure outside the USA.
I speak from experience, I lived in Baar, Switzerland, which is right near Zug ( bit north of it and closer to Crypto AG HQ) for seven years in the 2000s, and was literally 1.5km down the street from Crypto AG, a building which is set back from the street on a nondescript Swiss German country road. about 20 km South of Zurich. It's since been moved into a nearby small town adjacent to Baar called Steinhausen. I always thought it odd such a hi-tech crypto-security company building small appliances to sit in front of your router or cable modems was located out in the middle of no where. What was really weird was Crypto AG required a lot of deep security expertise which Switzerland was hardly known for at that time in the world of the Internet and emerging web ( CH ? Think fancy time pieces for your wrist, chocolate and nice looking brown cows, and lots of foreign banking supported by people travelling around on an efficient country wide train system trying to stay "right on time" for something). I looked back into their old website on archive.org and found the original address.. from 2005 https://web.archive.org/web/20050207030556/http://www.crypto.ch/pages/htm/contact.htm
Phone: +41 41 / 749 77 22
Fax: +41 41 / 741 22 72
Ok good one, hide behind a postal box, 'now a days' the new owner claims complete innocence (as he should) for the errors of their past...
TK Note- You gotta love archive.org, 'you can run, you can spin, you can change your past on the fly but you can't hide from archive.org's waybackmachine search (and legion of web crawlers collecting it all)', I use archive.org's waybackmachine search function regularly to 'ferret out' the charlatans posing as experts past, of course always take what is stored there with 'a grain of salt', after all the data fetched and stored by archive.org was public web data written by some spin doctor once upon a time.. ;)
picture source: https://www.voanews.com/usa/switzerland-investigating-alleged-cia-german-front-company
Now we know why Crypto AG was set up there on the quite side road originally. Crypto AG was "Out of sight, out of mind" for most everyone, even the locals, with the Swiss 'quality' label of approval for marketing purposes to suck everyone in, (it's Swiss, it must be ok, they are neutral, not..) with CH quality stamped on every Crypto appliance shipped out to unsuspecting non-USA buyers trying to escape the glare of Big Brother. What a scam. Never happened. You were and still are always under Big Brother's glare.
Protect your Private Communications Channels: 'Blockchain' to the Rescue
First things first, start using bi-directional communications services encrypted over the blockchain. Yup, the blockchain implementations of a few of the better cryptos also have their own bi-directional crypto channels, some with private key and payload encryption schemes strong enough to withstand Super Computer and even Quantum Computer hacks, for a very long time.
The IOTA Way:
IXI.Chat bi-directional encrypted communications over the nodes running the #DAG based distributed public permissionless ledger the #TANGLE
I will stick with the crypto-coin projects I know well to provide an example of how to protect your communications, that said there are several other worthy projects out there with viable solutions, I list a few links at the bottom of the page you should check out.
IOTA, the crypto-coin leader in IoT machine 2 machine economy and what some call Industry 4.0 started with a blank piece of paper as far back as 2014, thinking about how to secure the Internet of Things used to run among other things Smart Cities and the power grids which feed them. Very early the IOTA founders understood the security holes of our current power grid, and went about creating a parallel encrypted communication systems access via their private keys to bidirectionally communicate between nodes running the Tangle to both run the protocols enabling their DAG based distributed ledger, and make the same technology available for encrypted communications. Today anyone can make use of their IXI Chat implementation to create their own chat-centric Dapp capable of keeping Big Brother from snooping your private business. IOTA does have worldwide network of nodes which over 1500+ Nodes and growing every day scattered across the globe
Of course there are plenty of other options out there, not just IOTA, so the world of private chat is your oyster, I encourage all of you to digg deep on this one tip and get some "know how', like yesterday.
Secure your Private Transactions from Snooping Super Computers: No Quantum Computer Hacks Allowed
One time use Private Keys, IOTA Style OR use Zcash, DASH, Monero , PIVX anonymous coins (and soon MaidSafe's SAFE coin and SafeNetwork) etc. The current list of use-able anonymous/privacy is long, All of them working today...
I provided links to the capable others below, for now I will stick to my knowledge strength, IOTA.
IOTA has built in to their open source offer a number of capabilities to defeat Quantum Super Computer hackers before they even start.. (or have they started? Check out this article here for more on the Google gambit into Quantum Computing). One feature used to protect your privacy even on their distributed permissionless public DAG (Directed Acyclic Graph) ledger is IOTA wallet one-time use of private keys used to send your payment protected with one private key, then IOTA requires the user to dispose of that private key and next time (Winternitz Security Measure Deep Tech Dive here), generate a new private key. It's a simple secure transaction protection mechanism which makes it awfully difficult for anyone to hack the systems repeatedly, which is where the BIG Snoop gains are. Spending all that time to hack one key only gets you one transaction. Try to get some 'spook' manager to approve that 'sniff', it's just not going to happen. As the plethora of now available IOTA capable wallets get smarter, the auto-generation of the new private key is definitely getting easier and very convenient to use. Kudos IOTA for this one simple feature. To read about the threat of Quantum Computer hacks on the blockchain and what IOTA is doing about it, you can get the straight answer straight from one of the founders, David Sonstebo here
Other features which make it harder for authorities scrupulous or otherwise, to track your transactions make use of fully anonymous encrypted transactions or psuedo-anonymous coin mixing into multiple block to make transactions harder to track. Personally staying private when the business itself is private is important, so Zcash and zero knowledge proof protection in general, gets my practical vote these days.
Crypto-Proof your Vulnerable IoT Devices in the FOG: Swap out Binary Computing for More Power Efficient Ternary Computing
Say What? (more on ternary 101 here)
Well the IOTA logic is this, It's pretty hard for A binary Quantum Computer to hack a Ternary or "Trinary" device, no matter how big or small, if it doesn't know how to speak Ternary. The team and very large community supporting IOTA understands that edge, access or even sensor base computing found in the IoT FOG must be low cost , use less power and be highly secure to ensure safe operation within Smart Cities and Communities designed to improve your quality of life and safety. That said, these little devices in the FOG don't have much computing power and really aren't able, especially in the case of low cost sensors destined to be produced in the billions, to run sophisticated cryptography algorithms such as Proof of Work which do require several computer cycles and and some ram to execute quickly. Quickly is the key word here, often stated as "real time" in the computing world of programming, where there is a priority and time window to complete a task to keep the systems running safely and securely. It's a tall order for these computing "weaklings', one IOTA fills with devices built on Ternary computing, coming to a chip fab soon (Bosch by 2021 for example) . The power saving alone of Ternary being 35-50% more power efficient than Binary makes much sense. More impressive is the IOTA use of Ternary Math, albeit more complicated and quite foreign to even the most skilled binary programmer.
IOTA has really upped the game by creating a new IoT-centric scripting language for existing developers skilled in that space which allows them to leverage their existing program script skills (think JS or Solidity or Python) quickly in order to write apps which can are compiled into a flow programming language called ABRA (by a compiler of the same name supplied by IOTA). ABRA logic (flow programming goes in one direction) is ideal for deployment on FPGAs & ASICS, the usual first "Proof of Concept" and low volume production hardware implementation steps made by vendors before committing newly minted FOG logic to really cheap custom "integrated Circuit" IC chips produced in the 100s of thousands or even millions.
IOTA's core developers have implemented ABRA so Dapps or edge device applications written in QUPLA can be deployed to existing binary chip architectures today either directly to the FPGAs and ASICS currently available (with or without the costly/time consuming Verilog step used today) or directly on to new (or correctly re-birthed see the Russian Museum article here for more info on Ternary origins) Ternary chips, soon to be available in the 2022 to 2023 time frame if companies like Bosch hit their production goals.
Three Simple Steps keeps Big Brother at Bay: Pick your Hardware Wallet, Chat App and IoT Device Wisely to "Crypto-Proof" your World
Crypto-Proofing IoT devices and your own communications at your Web or Internet Access Point found at the edge or in the FOG is a great way to essentially "tunnel" your communications and transactions through the existing routers and switches out there running everything, where most if not all of them from Cisco, Juniper, Huawei, etc, have built-in hardware doors Big Brother can access at anytime to "port mirror" the sockets and streams you setup between applications and devices, re-directing the copy to large storage systems for later processing and analysis by VERY BIG Super Computers. We are talking tens of thousand of 64 Bit cores with gobs of RAM and computer Bus bandwidth capable of cracking 1024 and 2048 encryption in a manner of minutes, especially when they have decryption keys handed to them by the vendors. (some patriotic, some under duress.) It's not a pretty cyber world in which we live.
The 'Good News" is your own personal choice of wallet, chat tool, and even IoT device will pave the way for all this Big Brother Snooping stuff to go away, so you actually can regain your sovereignty as a person and a company from the state, which ironically is supposed to be serving you and not themselves.
In the growth of the coming FOG, these three simple steps get you out of Big Brother's Glare, implemented in low cost ternary hardware in the future and as binary solutions today using IOTA open source to do so. All good.
Here are a few other links which can help you avoid the Snooping of Big Brother, sooner rather later, I don't profess to be as deep on any of these links, so go deep and get educated, I'd like to hear from you in the comments below as always.
You owe it to yourself and your company, maybe even your country to at least consider and research the above three simple Crypto-Proof steps to effectively secure your online life and livelihood sooner rather than later.
Be Safe & Secure.
TK over and out...
PS- A Few Useful "Sovereignty" capable Cryptocurrency links: