Encryption and Passwords

Encryption and Passwords was an article we came across when doing research on an anonymous start page that you would use instead of google so as the powers that be sticking their big snooty noses in everyone’s business is not tracking your search results.

The page is called “Start Page”. This is not a paid endorsement it is just a really smart thing to do and as we talk about opsec this is one tool as well. Anyway this article was submitted to Creekmore’s site as a guest post and was packed full if useful info. Now it is obvious this guy has more experience than just playing sudoku in the news paper. Also it has a non existent agency listed as reference so I would pay attention to the info and see if you can integrate it into your personal prepping.

Posted: 04 Apr 2013 06:12 AM PDT This guest post by Scott G

 

With the way the government trusts everyone these days, I just bet that everyone feels safe and secure in their privacy…right? OK, yeah, that was a bad, not-too-funny joke. Since anyone who believes that the government as enthroned is populated by people who spout nothing but male bovine fecal matter is a potential terrorist, he will become targets of said government for snooping and generally subjected to violations of his constitutional rights (talk about a long-winded sentence). Not only do we need to worry about the government, but there are the usual collections of ordinary decent criminals (ODC’s) who only want to take what you have. The difference between the two is that the government is the only legal thief. Because of this, I have taken steps to attempt to secure my privacy.

I said attempt because no system is 100% secure against hacking and/or intrusion attempts by the government and ODC’s. The NSA was set up with the single-minded purpose of breaking the codes of foreign government communication. It is the premier code breaking agency of the world. Unfortunately, this same agency has been let loose on us, too. So, I’ve done what I can to make my computer and communications safe from snoops. I’m not an expert in encryption, but I’ll try and give you the basics as best as I understand them. Encryption for Dummies Basically, encryption uses mathematical formulas (that are galaxies away from my understand) to make information unreadable, scrambled, to anyone who doesn’t know have the key to the formula. The key is the key to reading a scrambled message (pun intended).

Encryption, cryptograms, started out as nothing more complicated that simple substitution of one letter for other letters in the alphabet. What you are looking for in this are the most commonly frequently recurring letters and letter patterns. In cryptography, the most frequently used letters in order are: ETAON RISHD LFCMU GYPWB VKJXQ Z. The most frequently used letter pairs are: TH HE AN RE ER IN ON AT ND ST ES EN OF TE ED OR TI HI AS TO. The most frequently used double letters are: LL EE SS OO TT FF RR NN PP CC. One of the first things I was taught to look for was the single letter words.

There are only three of them with I and A being the most common. The letter “O” is sometimes used, but it’s primarily used in archaic English. For example, here’s something simple. V XT YTB ZVLQ TIRFR IQWRAMNQ KQ VN R WTFFMYVNB In this example, there are two single letter words, which will help you decipher the remaining letters. It also helps to remember that all words must have vowels, so using the single letters you can use those to identify the vowels in the remaining words. If you want to learn more about encryption, I would simply Google it.

A fun to use cryptogram generator to use is at Discovery, http://puzzlemaker.discoveryeducation.com/cryptogramSetupForm.asp.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, the answer to the above puzzle is: I do not like Obama because he is a communist. Here’s one for you to figure out. A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z R PLII YLDHIRCLG JWIWCWR ZLWMD MLVLBBRYX CK CEL BLVHYWC X KO R OYLL BCRCL CEL YWDEC KO CEL QLKQIL CK ALLQ RMG ZLRY RYJB BERII MKC ZL WMOYWMD.

Onward. Programs that encrypt your information do the same thing, but on a level that I won’t even begin to try and explain. Basically, it uses algorithms to generate random substitutions for letters and numbers. The best systems use atmospheric noise to generate these substitutions. This is the only true random generation available. From what I understand, the most secure communications use what is called a “One Time Pad.” What makes or breaks an encryption program is the “key” or password.

Public encryption software has two different keys: the public key and your personal key. Everyone gets the public key, but your personal key determines whether or not someone else can get your information. The problem is that most people use something familiar to them to generate their personal key. The most commonly used things to generate passwords are based on the people, places and things in their personal and professional lives. Also, people tend to use shorter passwords to make it easier to remember them. So, DON’T DO THIS!

Use a long password made up of all sorts of weird things. Just remember that you’ve got to remember it, so be careful. One trick that I use to generate password is to use a passage from a book and them change the letters into something different. Here’s an example from Matthew 24:6. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars Here’s what it now looks like: AħĐyëƧhƛƪlhƐaƦofƜarƼaƕdrƱmƟursofʬar$ Or you can just have your cat walk across the keyboard while you hold down the shift key. Whatever works for you.

There are a large number of encryption programs out there, but you’ve got to be careful. There are free, shareware and some you pay through the nose for. Personally, I use Cyptainer LE. It’s a 448 bit encryption that’s pretty easy to use and allows a 100 character password. You can memorize a passage from Obama’s book for the password if you’ve got the stomach for it. Check out the reviews to help you make a decision. One last word about computer security.

If you’ve written a nasty diatribe about Obama and deleted it, it really isn’t deleted. Anyone who knows a bit about computers can simply restore the file and see all the nasty things you’ve written about the Dear Leader. You’ve got to use a wipe program such as ZDelete or CC Cleaner to make sure you totally wipe the file. I use CC Cleaner and couldn’t be happier. Remember this about secrets: Three can keep a secret, if two of them are dead. Benjamin Franklin

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