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(Math) Secret Codes Of Europe's Galileo Satellite

 
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adedios
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 1:55 pm    Post subject: (Math) Secret Codes Of Europe's Galileo Satellite Reply with quote






Source: Cornell University
Posted: July 9, 2006

Cornell Sleuths Crack Secret Codes Of Europe's Galileo Satellite

Members of Cornell's Global Positioning System (GPS) Laboratory have cracked the so-called pseudo random number (PRN) codes of Europe's first global navigation satellite, despite efforts to keep the codes secret. That means free access for consumers who use navigation devices -- including handheld receivers and systems installed in vehicles -- that need PRNs to listen to satellites.

The codes and the methods used to extract them were published in the June issue of GPS World.

The navigational satellite, GIOVE-A (Galileo In-Orbit Validation Element-A), is a prototype for 30 satellites that by 2010 will compose Galileo, a $4 billion joint venture of the European Union, European Space Agency and private investors. Galileo is Europe's answer to the United States' GPS.

Because GPS satellites, which were put into orbit by the Department of Defense, are funded by U.S. taxpayers, the signal is free -- consumers need only purchase a receiver. Galileo, on the other hand, must make money to reimburse its investors -- presumably by charging a fee for PRN codes. Because Galileo and GPS will share frequency bandwidths, Europe and the United States signed an agreement whereby some of Galileo's PRN codes must be "open source." Nevertheless, after broadcasting its first signals on Jan. 12, 2006, none of GIOVE-A's codes had been made public.

In mid-January, Mark Psiaki, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Cornell and co-leader of Cornell's GPS Laboratory, requested the codes from Martin Unwin at Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd., one of three privileged groups in the world with the PRN codes.

"In a very polite way, he said, 'Sorry, goodbye,'" recalled Psiaki. Next Psiaki contacted Oliver Montenbruck, a friend and colleague in Germany, and discovered that he also wanted the codes. "Even Europeans were being frustrated," said Psiaki. "Then it dawned on me: Maybe we can pull these things off the air, just with an antenna and lots of signal processing."

Within one week Psiaki's team developed a basic algorithm to extract the codes. Two weeks later they had their first signal from the satellite, but were thrown off track because the signal's repeat period was twice that expected. By mid-March they derived their first estimates of the code, and -- with clever detective work and an important tip from Montenbruck -- published final versions on their Web site (http://gps.ece.cornell.edu/galileo) on April 1. Two days later, NovAtel Inc., a Canadian-based major manufacturer of GPS receivers, downloaded the codes from the Web site in a few minutes and soon afterward began tracking GIOVE-A for the first time.

Galileo eventually published PRN codes in mid-April, but they weren't the codes currently used by the GIOVE-A satellite. Furthermore, the same publication labeled the open source codes as intellectual property, claiming a license is required for any commercial receiver. "That caught my eye right away," said Psiaki. "Apparently they were trying to make money on the open source code."

Afraid that cracking the code might have been copyright infringement, Psiaki's group sought outside advice. "We were told that cracking the encryption of creative content, like music or a movie, is illegal, but the encryption used by a navigation signal is fair game," said Psiaki. The upshot: The Europeans cannot copyright basic data about the physical world, even if the data are coming from a satellite that they built.

"Imagine someone builds a lighthouse," argued Psiaki. "And I've gone by and see how often the light flashes and measured where the coordinates are. Can the owner charge me a licensing fee for looking at the light? … No. How is looking at the Galileo satellite any different?"

Other authors of the GPS World article are Paul Kintner, Cornell professor of electrical and computer engineering, graduate students Todd Humphreys, Shan Mohiuddin and Alessandro Cerruti, and engineer Steven Powell.

*************************************************************

Questions to explore further this topic:

What are codes?

http://www.nsa.gov/kids/ciphers/ciphe00001.cfm

What is the Morse code?

http://www.battleshipnc.com/ki...../index.php
http://educ.queensu.ca/~fmc/may2004/morse.html
http://www.ki3ds.org/MorseTips.htm

Cracking the code

http://news.bbc.co.uk/cbbcnews.....390321.stm

What are hieroglypics?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/a.....t_01.shtml

What is cryptology?

http://www.unmuseum.org/cipher.htm
http://www.ridex.co.uk/cryptology/
http://home.cogeco.ca/~cipher/

Lectures on Cryptography

http://www.cs.virginia.edu/cs588/lectures/

What is a cipher?

http://www.nsa.gov/kids/ciphers/ciphe00002.cfm

History of cipher

http://www.nsa.gov/kids/ciphers/ciphe00005.cfm

The Enigma

http://www.nsa.gov/museum/museu00007.cfm
http://www.mlb.co.jp/linux/sci.....ferat.html

Solving the Enigma

http://www.nsa.gov/publications/publi00016.cfm

How did mathematicians help win World War II

http://www.nsa.gov/cch/cch00006.cfm

The Cryptographic Mathematics of Enigma

http://www.nsa.gov/publications/publi00004.cfm

SIGSALY

http://www.nsa.gov/museum/museu00022.cfm
http://www.nsa.gov/publications/publi00020.cfm

The Start of the Digital Revolution

http://www.nsa.gov/publications/publi00019.cfm

GAMES

Make a cipher

http://www.nsa.gov/kids/ciphers/ciphe00003.cfm

Break a cipher

http://www.nsa.gov/kids/ciphers/ciphe00004.cfm
http://www.arkwise.co.uk/pdf/philippians4-4.pdf

Brainteasers

http://www.nsa.gov/kids/games/games00001.cfm

Cryptograms

http://www.nsa.gov/kids/games/games00002.cfm

Yardleygrams

http://www.nsa.gov/kids/games/games00004.cfm

Spy Game

http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/b.....ying.shtml

NSA's flash site

http://www.nsa.gov/kids/home.cfm


Last edited by adedios on Sat Jan 27, 2007 3:15 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2006 10:33 am    Post subject: Sending secret messages over public internet lines can take Reply with quote

Optical Society of America
10 October 2006

Sending secret messages over public internet lines can take place with new technique

Commercial, government, consumer applications possible, researchers say
WASHINGTON, Oct. 10 -- A new technique sends secret messages under other people's noses so cleverly that it would impress James Bond--yet the procedure is so firmly rooted in the real world that it can be instantly used with existing equipment and infrastructure. At this week's annual meeting of the Optical Society of America in Rochester, N.Y., Bernard Wu and Evgenii Narimanov of Princeton University will present a method for transmitting secret messages over existing public fiber-optic networks, such as those operated by Internet service providers. This technique could immediately allow inexpensive, widespread, and secure transmission of confidential and sensitive data by governments and businesses.

Wu and Narimanov's technique is not the usual form of encryption, in which computer software scrambles a message. Instead, it's a more hardware-oriented form of encryption--it uses the real-world properties of an optical-fiber network to cloak a message. The sender transmits an optical signal that is so faint that it is very hard to detect, let alone decode.

The method takes advantage of the fact that real-world fiber-optics systems inevitably have low levels of "noise," random jitters in the light waves that transmit information through the network. The new technique hides the secret message in this optical noise.

In the technique, the sender first translates the secret message into an ultrashort pulse of light. Then, a commercially available optical device (called an optical CDMA encoder) spreads the intense, short pulse into a long, faint stream of optical data, so that the optical message is fainter than the noisy jitters in the fiber-optic network. The intended recipient decodes the message by employing information on how the secret message was originally spread out and using an optical device to compress the message back to its original state. The method is very secure: even if eavesdroppers knew a secret transmission was taking place, any slight imperfection in their knowledge of how the secret signal was spread out would make it too hard to pick out amidst the more intense public signal.

Although the researchers have made public this transmission scheme, and the components for carrying it out are all available, lead author Bernard Wu does not think this technique is being used yet.

"As the method uses optical CDMA technology, which is still undergoing significant research, I don't think any government or corporation is implementing this technique yet," Wu says.

While Wu foresees that government and businesses would have the greatest use for this technique, consumer applications are possible, he says. For example, consumers may occasionally transmit sensitive data via fiber-optic lines for a banking transaction. "This would not be a primary transmission scheme one would employ 24/7, as the price for enhanced security is a lower transmission rate," says Wu. Yet, since consumers send encrypted information to banks only intermittently, "the stealth method is practical" for that purpose, he says.

###
Meeting Paper FMJ5: "Achieving Secure Stealth Transmission via a Public Fiber-Optical Network," to be presented Oct. 9, 5-5:15 p.m., at Frontiers in Optics 2006, the 90th annual meeting of the Optical Society of America, http://www.osa.org/meetings/annual/

For more details, see article:
"A method for secure communications over a public fiber-optical network," Bernard B. Wu and Evgenii E. Narimanov, published in Optics Express, Vol. 14, Issue 9, pp. 3738-3751, full text at http://www.opticsexpress.org/abstract.cfm?id=89578

Optics in this research:
Fiber optics, optical communications, fiber optics links and subsystems.

About OSA
Celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2006, the Optical Society of America brings together an international network of the industry's preeminent optics and photonics scientists, engineers, educators, technicians and business leaders. Representing over 14,000 members from more than 80 different countries, OSA promotes the worldwide generation, application and dissemination of optics and photonics knowledge through its meetings, events and journals. Since its founding in 1916, OSA member benefits, programming, publications, products and services have set the industry's standard of excellence. Additional information on OSA is available on the Society's Web site at www.osa.org.
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adedios
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 12, 2007 1:58 pm    Post subject: Qubits poised to reveal our secrets Reply with quote

New Scientist
12 September 2007

Qubits poised to reveal our secrets

IT MIGHT seem like an esoteric achievement of interest to only a handful of computer scientists, but the advent of quantum computers that can run a routine called Shor’s algorithm could have profound consequences. It means the most dangerous threat posed by quantum computing - the ability to break the codes that protect our banking, business and e-commerce data - is now a step nearer reality.

For the full article:

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_.....091207.php
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adedios
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Joined: 06 Jul 2005
Posts: 5060
Location: Angel C. de Dios

PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2007 7:48 am    Post subject: Mathematical Police Find Security Bug Reply with quote

Week of Dec. 8, 2007; Vol. 172, No. 23

Mathematical Police Find Security Bug
Cryptographers uncover potential weakness in encryption algorithms
Julie J. Rehmeyer

When you buy a gadget online or check your bank balance electronically, your computer encodes your messages using a mathematical algorithm. The difficulty of breaking these encryption algorithms prevents digital onlookers from stealing your credit card numbers or reading your bank statement. One of the creators of the most venerable such code, the RSA algorithm, has recently warned that if your computer's processing chip contains a flaw that makes it perform a miscalculation, it's possible that an attacker could break the codes in your computer and spill your digital secrets.

For the full article:

http://sciencenews.org/article.....thtrek.asp
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