Monday, February 23, 2009

Cryptographic algorithms for radio telemetry using LabVIEW

Upcoming April 2009 issue of Telemetry Encryption Today includes in-depth article on the implementation of cryptographic algorithms for radio telemetry using LabVIEW, the graphical programming software from National Instruments. The article includes interviews with D.K. Ghodgaonkar.

The April 2009 issue comes with a fold-out section with a review of weakness testing of recent cryptographic algorithms and an insert with a CD sampler of cryptographic algorithms.

Developments to Quantum Cryptography

The June 2009 issue of Telemetry Encryption Today contains an article on experiments involving DOE Los Alamos Lab, QinetiQ, Siemens, Aeorads Aerospace, and other defense contractors attaching encryption key digits to individual light particles, or photons, which are sent as a weak beam of light. "The practice is believed to be safe because intercepting and reading the key noticeably alters the state of the photons, tipping off the intended recipient that the key has been compromised, " said Professor John Rarity, former senior researcher at QinetiQ. The article will provide specific details about the distances that researchers have been able to send and receive their encryption key-toting light beams.

The June 2009 issue will also review the first commercial use of quantum cryptography at a Siemens AG project in Vienna, Australia. Full-text of a related October 8, 2008 article is available at An abstract follows below.


World first for sending data using quantum cryptography
October 8th, 2008 in Physics / Physics

( -- For the first time the transmission of data secured by quantum cryptography is demonstrated within a commercial telecommunications network. 41 partners from 12 European countries, including academics from the University of Bristol, have worked on realising this quantum cryptographic network since April 2004.

Today [Wednesday 8 October] the first commercial communication network using unbreakable encryption based on quantum cryptography is demonstrated in Vienna, Austria. In particular the encryption utilises keys that are generated and distributed by means of quantum cryptographic technologies. Potential users of this network, such as government agencies, financial institutions or companies with distributed subsidiaries, can encrypt their confidential communication with the highest level of security using the quantum cryptographically generated keys.

The network consists of six nodes and eight intermediary links with distances between 6km and 82km (seven links utilising commercial standard telecommunication optical fibres and one “free-space”-link along a line of sight between two telescopes). The links employ altogether six different quantum cryptographic technologies for key generation which are integrated into the network over standardised interfaces.

The network is installed in a standard optical fibre communication ring provided by SECOQC partners, Siemens AG Österreich in Vienna. Five subsidiaries of Siemens are connected to the network. The operation of the quantum cryptographic network will be visualised on a screen at the Siemens Forum in Vienna and streamed live over the Internet. The network-wide key generation and distribution will be demonstrated, the different functionalities of the network itself will be presented as well as utilisation of the keys for standard communication applications. A voice-over-iptelephone-application will be secured by the information-theoretically secure "one-time-pad-encryption“ while videoconferencing will be protected by symmetrical AES-encryption with frequent key changes. A low-cost key distributor, with the potential of extending the quantum cryptographic network to the consumer, will also be shown.

Academics at Bristol University led by John Rarity, Professor of Optical Communication Systems in the Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering, working on the project have developed a low cost free-space quantum cryptography system, complete with purpose-built software that can operate in daylight conditions.

The system is designed to eventually work in applications where a consumer can regularly ‘top up’ a store of secrets for use in a variety of one-time-pad (OTP) and authentication protocols. This system could allow online consumer transactions to be PIN protected for instance. The user would use secret bits shared with ...

The technical descriptions of the different quantum cryptographic technologies used in the network can be found on the projects website at:

Advantages of Quantum Cryptography

Confidential communication needs encryption in order to ensure that no unauthorised party could misuse the content. Quantum cryptography provides long-term security and thus conforms to the requirements of a number of recent legal regulations for protecting information. Quantum cryptographic technologies provide information-theoretically secure keys for encryption.

The basic approach includes sending streams of specially prepared particles of light (photons), their measurement by the legitimate parties and the subsequent post-processing of the measurement data. The output is the cryptographic key consisting of identical random bit strings.

A potential eavesdropper cannot gain any information on this key irrespectively of his resources. This property which has no classical counterpart is due to the fundamental laws of quantum physics which ensure that any measurement leaves indelible traces behind. These traces manifest themselves in an error-rate that can be identified by the legitimate users.

There exists a quantitative relationship between the error-rate and ....

Advantages of the quantum cryptographic network

Previous developments in quantum cryptography focused on point-to-point connections between only one sender and one receiver and commercial solutions are already available from several companies (including the SECOQC-Partner id Quantique SA).


Source: University of Bristol

Satellite Communication Encryption and Telemetry Technologies

Upcoming issue of the July 2009 issue of Telemetry Encryption Today contains interview with four theoretical mathematicians, including Dr. Andrei Krolovich, who discusses recent developments in SBMV Protocol and licensed quantum cryptography applications, in SPMV Protocol, from Aeorads Company, that are being used to protect security and data integrity for DOD satellite communications with ground stations.

The in-depth interviews include a panel discussion of strengths and weaknesses of encryption applications at the U.S. Air Force Headquarters Cryptologic Systems Group of San Antonio, Tex. (Telemetry, Tracking and Commanding KG-327 program) and General Dynamics C4 Systems.

Note: related article available at Global Abstract follows below.


Satellite Communication Encryption and Telemetry Technologies

General Dynamics Awarded $9 Million Contract for Satellite Communication Encryption and Telemetry Technologies

U.S. Air Force selects General Dynamics cryptography to assure security and data integrity for communication with ground stations

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – General Dynamics C4 Systems has been awarded a $9.2 million contract option to continue the development, qualification and certification of a National Security Agency (NSA) approved encryption module that will be used to secure telemetry, tracking and control of Department of Defense satellites. The option modifies a contract initially awarded to General Dynamics in July 2006, which brings the total contract value to $19.3 million.

The program’s initial critical design review is complete and the current contract phase is focused on system development, qualification and certification. It is scheduled for completion during the fourth quarter of 2009. Production will be undertaken under a subsequent contract action, award of which is anticipated in 2009.

The contract is through the U.S. Air Force’s Telemetry, Tracking and Commanding KG-327 program, formerly known as Aerospace Vehicle Equipment - Increment One (AVE I1). The KG-327 program is part of the National Security Agency’s initiative to modernize information security technologies and devices used on future Department of Defense satellite programs.

“Developing information assurance technologies and systems that can take the stress of space operations over the next 30 to 40 years requires cutting-edge technologies, engineering and systems integration,” said John Cole, vice president of Information Assurance at General Dynamics C4 Systems. “These new encryption modules and systems will enable mission commanders to program security to match mission requirements as well as protect satellites from unauthorized manipulation.”

General Dynamics C4 Systems is the prime contractor working with subcontractor SafeNet Mykotronx of Belkamp, Md. The Air Force Headquarters Cryptologic Systems Group of San Antonio, Tex., is the contracting authority for the program.


Saturday, February 21, 2009

Rating of Cryptographic Toolkit

A European ECRYPT II team of testers recently reviewed and rated the Cryptographic Toolkit of the U.S. Government's Security Technology Group (STG) of the Computer Security Division (CSD), Information Technology Laboratory of the NIST [National Institute of Standards and Technology].

The Cryptographic Toolkit is supposed to "enable U.S. Government agencies and others to select cryptographic security components and functionality for protecting their data, communications, and operations".

The ECRYPT II team rated the toolkit as "average". The review and rating will be available in the July 2009 issue of Telemetry Encryption Today.