X-Message-Number: 533
From:  (David Lubkin)
Date: Fri, 8 Nov 91 09:49:20 EST
Subject: POSTING  Re: cryonics: #527 - #528  

   really paranoid, there are plenty of opportunities.  A recent issue of a
   USENET publication called "Computer Underground Digest" mentioned a
   demonstration of "TEMPEST technology (picking up the radio waves from a

   monitor, and being able to display what's being typed up to 1.5 miles away),"
      so shielding of all monitors may be on the agenda of the most security
   minded.  (Please let me know if this story about TEMPEST technology is just
   somebody's joke.)  And don't forget the worst security threat of all, being
   so secure that no useful work can get done any more! :-) - KQB ]

The kind of technology you are talking about is real.  I used to work at
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and it was taken into account when
designing the security rules for DOE labs.  TEMPEST computer equipment is
properly shielded; it is also not, I believe, available for sale to the
general public.  But the other thing you can do is only use the equipment
in a Faraday cage.

If you're going to worry about computer security, you might as well worry
about other kinds of security risks, e.g., someone breaking in, electronic
surveillance (bugs, parabolic microphones, lasers 'listening' to a
conversation by 'reading' the vibrations of windows, etc.), spies/saboteurs
at Alcor (through infiltration, blackmail, or bribery), etc.

How much caution/paranoia is justified?  ...I don't know.  On one hand, it's
easy to sound lunatic.  On the other hand, people have done a lot of heinous
deeds for a lot less than, say, a major estate bequeathed to Alcor.  On the
other hand (which, as LeGuin says, I can say because I'm a science fiction
writer), even with the level of security that DOE/DOD use, there are Jonathan
Pollards.  So even with an irritating level of precautions, you're still not
secure.  On my penultimate hand, it seems ludicrous to discuss this stuff on
an open net.  (Why aren't we using RSA or PGP now for the list?  Is there a
USENET rule against encrypted messages?)  On my final hand, while it is
prudent to keep one's security precautions secret, it is foolhardy to rely on
security by obscurity.  Your precautions must be secure against knowledgeable

-- David Lubkin.

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