Adafruit is open and shipping! Let's build back better, together!
0

Did a broken random number generator in Cuba help expose a Russian espionage network? @mattblaze

Matt Blaze’s blog posts about a cryptologic and espionage mystery that he’d been puzzling over for about 15 years, with light shed by the new book Compromised. (Compromised is primarily a memoir of former FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok)

Strzok discusses his work in Boston investigating the famous Russian “illegals” espionage network from 2000 until their arrest (and subsequent exchange with Russia) in 2010. “Illegals” are foreign agents operating abroad under false identities and without official or diplomatic cover. In this case, ten Russian illegals were living and working in the US under false Canadian and American identities. (The case inspired the recent TV series The Americans.)

For at least the last sixty years, encrypted shortwave radio transmissions have been a standard method for sending messages to covert spies abroad.

And this is where the mystery I’ve been wondering about comes in. In 2007, I noticed an odd anomaly: some messages completely lacked the digit 9 (“nueve”). Most messages had, as they always did and as you’d expect with OTP ciphertext, a uniform distribution of the digits 0-9. But other messages, at random times, suddenly had no 9s at all. I wasn’t the only (or the first) person to notice this; apparently the 9s started disappearing from messages some time around 2005.

This is, to say the least, very odd. The way OTPs work should produce a uniform distribution of all ten digits in the ciphertext. The odds of an entire message lacking 9s (or any other digit) are infinitesimal. And yet such messages were plainly being transmitted, and fairly often at that. In fact, in the recording of the 2008 transmission linked to above, you will notice that while the second and third messages use all ten digits, the first is completely devoid of 9s.

Did the lack of 9s lead to the rollup of the network? See the full article here.


Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.

Join 25,000+ makers on Adafruit’s Discord channels and be part of the community! http://adafru.it/discord

Have an amazing project to share? The Electronics Show and Tell is every Wednesday at 7pm ET! To join, head over to YouTube and check out the show’s live chat – we’ll post the link there.

Join us every Wednesday night at 8pm ET for Ask an Engineer!

Follow Adafruit on Instagram for top secret new products, behinds the scenes and more https://www.instagram.com/adafruit/

CircuitPython – The easiest way to program microcontrollers – CircuitPython.org


Maker Business — To make it through a tough business cycle, layoffs should be a last resort

Wearables — Old iThings

Electronics — Too much noise?

Python for Microcontrollers — Python on Microcontrollers Newsletter: MagTag is here, Guido goes Microsoft and more! #Python #Adafruit #CircuitPython @micropython @ThePSF

Adafruit IoT Monthly — CO2 Cuckoo Clock, Wippersnapper, and more!

Microsoft MakeCode — Making a Smart LEGO Ferris Wheel!

EYE on NPI — Maxim’s Himalaya uSLIC Step-Down Power Module #EyeOnNPI @maximintegrated @digikey

New Products – Adafruit Industries – Makers, hackers, artists, designers and engineers! — New Products 11/18/2020 Featuring Ultra Flexible White LED Strip – 320 LED per meter -1m long~3000K!

Get the only spam-free daily newsletter about wearables, running a "maker business", electronic tips and more! Subscribe at AdafruitDaily.com !



No Comments

No comments yet.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.