Thursday, August 28, 2008

Distributed Denial of Service

This is by far the most deadly of all denial of service attacks, since an easy fix is hard to come by. Instead of just installing the latest hardware and software, network administrators will usually need extra help with these types of attacks.A distributed denial of service attack, or DDoS, is much like the ping flood method, only multiple computers are being used. In this instance, the computers that are being used may or may not be aware of the fact that they are attacking a website or network. Trojans and viruses commonly give the hacker control of a computer, and thus, the ability to use them for attack. In this case the victim computers are called zombies.

A DDoS attack is very tough to overcome. The first thing to do is to contact your hosting provider or internet service provider, depending on what is under attack. They will usually be able to filter out the bulk of the traffic based on where it’s coming from. For more large-scale attacks, you’ll have to become more creative.

If you have access to your router, and are running a Cisco brand, enter the following command into your router command prompt: No ip verify unicast reverse-path.

This will ensure that attackers can’t spoof their IP address. This will still be a problem for zombie computers however, since those IP addresses aren’t spoofed at all. In this case, you can do one of several things.

Options in DDoS Prevention

  • 1. Hire a security company to assess and repair the damage
  • 2. Buy an intrusion detection system (IDS)

As a last resort, the traffic can be routed to a sink hole, which will route all traffic elsewhere until a solution can be obtained. This will route good traffic and bad traffic- so this is usually not a good choice

SYN flood attack

The SYN flood attack takes advantage of the TCP three-way handshake. This method operates two separate ways. Both methods attempt to start a three-way handshake, but not complete it. You can view the proper three-way handshake below.

The first attack method can be achieved when the attacker sends a synchronize request, or SYN, with a spoofed IP address. When the server tries to send back a SYN-ACK request, or synchronize-acknowledge request, it will obviously not get a response. This means that the server never obtains the client’s ACK request, and resources are left half-open.

Alternatively, the attacker can just choose to not send the acknowledgement request. Both of these methods stall the server, who is patiently waiting for the ACK request. Thankfully, this hole in the three-way handshake has been patched for years, just like the ping of death attack. Should you suspect that your older devices are the subject of this attack, upgrade them immediately.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Fedora 9 on a USB Drive

This week's release of the Fedora 9 Linux distribution makes putting a full-fledged desktop on a portable USB thumb drive a three-click affair. Even better, you don't need Linux installed to create it, you can leave the data on your thumb drive untouched, and any files you create or settings you tweak remain in place the next time you boot up. After the jump, let's create a fully-functional desktop-to-go using a simple Windows program and a 1GB or larger thumb drive.

Why Fedora?

Turning a live CD ISO into a bootable USB image has been possible for some time now, but it usually involves some heavy lifting with the command line, and almost always in Linux. Fedora's liveusb-creator program makes USB imaging dead simple, and the Fedora distribution itself has a lot going for it. The latest "community" version of Red Hat's Linux package benefits from the same updates to the GNOME desktop that Ubuntu's Hardy Heron includes, and KDE fans get a pretty full-featured version that runs on the customizable KDE 4. You can see a full list of updates and improvements to Fedora 9 here, but it's best to check it out for yourself. Here's how.

Make your live USB

First we'll need to grab Fedora's liveusb-creator tool by grabbing the zip file listed under "Download," extracting it and running the liveusb-creator.exe file found inside in Windows.

The top options on the window let you choose to use a live Fedora CD image you've already downloaded or have the tool grab a copy of the standard Fedora 9 disc itself. If you'd rather grab the file yourself or download it through a torrent, use one of the links listed under "live media"
at the Fedora Project
. Plug in your USB drive if you haven't already, and make sure it's selected in the "Target" field. Don't worry about files you've got on there—as long as the tool has space to put Fedora on there, it won't touch your other files.

The slider to the right is the most important part—"Persistent Overlay" is the space on the thumb drive you want to use for storing your files and settings. The Fedora system itself is going to take up roughly the size of a stuffed CD; using an empty 1GB thumb drive, I chose 205MB for the overlay, which left 63MB free, but you can scale that up for larger drives or down if you want more free space. Keep in mind that any files you store on the drive itself can be accessed from inside your USB-booted system, so a bigger persistent overlay isn't always necessary.

Hit "Create Live USB," and watch the creator do its thing. Once it's done, your stick is probably ready to get plugged in and booted up.

Fix booting problems

I say "probably" because there's a chance, especially if you've done some formatting or other live-booting experiments, that you'll get an error at boot-up stating there's "No partition active" or something similar. If that's the case, head to your Start menu's "Run" command ("Start search" box in Vista), type in diskpart and hit Enter. You'll get a "DISKPART>" command prompt, where you should follow these commands to mark your USB drive as "active."diskpart%20%282%29.jpg
  • list disk (Note the number that corresponds to your USB drive, usually "1")
  • select disk 1 (Assuming "1" was your USB drive
  • list partition (If you multi-partitioned your USB drive, select the right one, otherwise we'll assume "1")
  • select partition 1
  • active
  • exit

Customize your persistent desktop

fedora_landing.jpgNow you should be set to boot into Fedora 9. You'll see a splash screen counting down from 10 when you boot (hit Enter twice to speed it up), and you'll land at a desktop that's pretty much a fresh Fedora 9 install. You can access to your USB drive's files from here, connect to a wired or wireless network with the icon in the upper-right system tray, and you've got a solid set of built-in applications—Firefox 3 Beta 5, the GIMP, Pidgin, the Transmission BitTorrent client, and a pretty nifty Bluetooth manager, to name a few.

Want to add Thunderbird or Head to the upper-left menus and click to System->Administration->Add/Remove Programs. Anything you install goes into your "persistent overlay," so as long as you've got space for it, you can add whatever you'd like.

Now it's time to explore and get familiar with a GNOME-based Linux system (or KDE 4, depending on which image you grabbed). Here are a few suggestions on helpful tweaks you might want to make once you're set up:

  • ntfs-3g_cropped.jpgEnable your NTFS drives: If you've loaded a USB Fedora on a system with Windows installed, you'll want to open up Add/Remove Programs, search for "ntfs-config," and install that package. From the System menu again, choose NTFS Config, and you can select the drives you want to have access to.
  • Sync data with your Windows apps: Once you can see your NTFS drives on your desktop, you can use your established settings in Firefox 3, Thunderbird, Pidgin, and other apps if you're booting on the same system as Windows. Check out guide to dual-booting with shared data; if you're using Firefox 2 in Windows and only want to replicate bookmarks in Fedora, the GMarks synchronizer has updated to support versions 3 and 2.
  • Turn off annoying system sounds: One misstep Fedora makes, at least in my opinion, is enabling by default a slew of little chirps and whistles every time you click or do something. To silence them, head to System-Preferences->Hardware->Sound, click the "System" tab, and un-check the "Enable system sounds" box.
You've now got a portable system that's great for rescuing un-bootable computers, bringing your favorite work apps on the go, or just testing out Linux with realistic performance and custom options. What apps and tweaks have you made to your own live USB system?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Mandrake 9.2 Installation

With the release of Mandrake 9.2 a few months ago, many are now trying there hands out on this new distros. In this article we are going to take a look at the installation and configuration of Mandrake 9.2 from the Windows user's perspective. For those of you who want to get hands-on facts on working with Mandrake 9.2, you can take a look at our multimedia training on this month at

If you are a graphical interface fan like me, you will be glad to know that the installation of Mandrake 9.2 can be done entirely through the graphical user interface similar to that found in Windows. For anyone who has installed an operating system before in will be a walk in the park.

Mandrake 9.2 comes on three CD's. With CD 1 and 2 housing most files depending on what options you have selected during the installation. Remember that Mandrake, like most Linux distros, can be optimized for games, server or workstation. Another huge advantage of Mandrake 9.2 is the vast array of languages that comes with it. You can choose to install and run Mandrake on more than 50 languages. The documentations are however in English.

Mandrake 9.2 installation consists of 11 easy steps that I am going to show you in this article: These steps are as follows:

1. Language
2. License
3. Security
4. Partitioning
5. Install System
6. Root Password
7. Add Users
8. Install Boot loader
9. Summary
10. Install Update
11. Finish Setup

The Installation

We are going to install Mandrake 9.2 on a clean hard disk and clean partition. I will tell you later how to setup Mandrake 9.2 on another partition next to another operating system. Since Mandrake 9.2 is probably the easiest distro for newbie to install, we are going to start right away with the installation procedure.

Assuming you have the Images on CD, which is easiest way to install Mandrake 9.2 then boot your computer with disk 1 and follow the instruction on the screen. The first screen you get is the initial splash screen that gives you the option to select the install mode by pressing F1. You have four install modes: the default 800 x 600 default mode, the lower resolution of 640 X 480 mode or a higher resolution of 1024 X 768 Graphic. The fourth option is to carry out the installation using the text mode. For this article you can choose to install using the default mode.

After the initial splash screen has been loaded you are prompted with the screen to accept the language you want to setup Mandrake with. Although you will get full installation guidance on any language chosen, you will not be able to run Mandrake fully utilizing another language except English because some information will still be popping up in English language.

The licensing option will be presented and then you can proceed with the selection of the other installation options. After accepting the licensing you will come to the screen where you need to set up security, and add users to the system.

When the partition has been successfully created, you can then proceed with the selection of the packages to be installed.

The package selection screen

You can choose to setup Mandrake 9.2 as a Workstation or a Server and for every system you can select the applications or packages you want to install. You can then choose which desktop you want to install. If you are new to all of this then you can choose to install both GNOME and KDE desktop.
When you are finished with the selection you can proceed with the installation of the OS and grab yourself a cup of coffee. From here on it is a straight forward procedure, you will only be required to change the disk when it is time. As soon as you change the second disk that will signal the round up of the installation.

When the partition has been successfully created, you can then proceed with the selection of the packages to be installed.

Here you can see the configuration of the system and make some adjustments

You are now ready to customize the hardware on your system. You will notice that all devices will be automatically detected but you may have one or two devices that will not be detected correctly; these devices will be marked red. Just go there with your mouse and correct it and accept the configuration.

Finally, you are done and you will see a screen that gives you a complete summary of the installed hardware. At this time you are ready to go. Select yes as to the question if you should keep the changes made and proceed to complete the installation.


The next screen of the Mandrake 9.2 setup will ask you to decide if you want to start Mandrake with the graphical interface. I will choose yes because we came from a Windows environment.

After this the installation will be completed and you are ready to get updates from the Internet and if you are not connected to the Internet you can skip that part and go on to conclude the installation. Reboot the system and you are ready to go.

The welcome screen of KDE

Like you can see, the installation of Mandrake 9.2 is like taking a walk in the park. Gone are the days when you need to be a hacker to be able to install Linux. Today Linux has come of age. Next we are going to take a look at the KDE graphical user interface.

Suse Linux operating system

SUSE linux operating system is another company with desktop focus, although a range of less visible enterprise class products are also available. The distribution has received positive reviews for its installer and YaST configuration tools, developed by SUSE's own developers. The documentation, which comes with the boxed product, has repeatedly been labelled as the most complete, thorough and usable by far. The distribution has achieved substantial market share in Europe and North America, but it is not marketed in Asia and other parts of the world. SUSE was acquired by Novell in late 2003.

SUSE's linux operating system development takes place completely behind closed doors and no public betas are provided for testing. The company has a policy of not making the software available for free download until 1 - 2 months after the boxed versions are in stores. Even so, SUSE does not provide easily installable ISO images of SUSE LINUX, relying on sales of boxed sets to deliver the product to the majority of their users.

Pros: Professional attention to detail, easy-to-use YaST configuration tools.
Cons: Only available in parts of the world from software resellers or via FTP install (usually 1 - 3 months after release)
Software package management: YaST (RPM), third-party APT (RPM) repositories available
Free download: Historically, SUSE did not provide ISOvlinux operating system images for download, but this has changed starting with version 9.1, the Personal edition of which appeared on SUSE's FTP server about 2 months after the official release. The Professional edition of SUSE LINUX is available for installation via FTP, usually about 1 - 3 months after the official release. The FTP installation is not difficult but requires fast Internet connection.

linux operating system suse SUSE linux operating system Summary
Distribution SUSE LINUX (formerly SuSE Linux)
Home Page
Origin Germany
Mailing Lists
User Forums SUSE Forums . SUSE Forums . . Alionet (French) . (German) . (German) . ForoSUSE (Spanish)
Sponsored User Forums
Sponsored User Forums
SUSE Support Knowledge Base
Download Mirrors
See also: - ISO Downloads . The Linux Mirror Project
Related Web Sites Unofficial SUSE FAQ . SUSE LINUX Support . SUSE LINUX Info . SUSE root . SUSE Administration Guide . APT for SUSE . . usr-local-bin . LSB RPMs . KDE RPMs for SUSE . RPMs for SUSE . Fast Online Update for SUSE . Sheflug's SUSE . Planet SUSE . SUSE Knowledge Portal . Freshmeat . SUSE Lithuania . SUSE Netherlands
Reviews 9.3: LinuxPlanet . Hardware Upgrade (Italian) . SiliconRepublic . QuebecOS (French) . Tux Journal (Italian) . eWEEK . Pro-Linux (German) . The Inquirer . Cool Solutions . USA LUG . linux-noob . Mad Penguin . Geektime Linux . Cool Solutions
9.2: . OSNews . Mandrakelinux Tips4Free . OSNews . LinuxPlanet . (French) . Mad Penguin . Linux Gazette . OSNews . OSNews . Pro-Linux (German) . GeekTime Linux . OSNews . NewsForge
9.1: Linux Magazine (PDF) . ImAFish . (French) . OSNews . OSNews . Linux Format (PDF) . Flexbeta . The Jem Report . The Jem Report . OSNews . Pro-Linux (German) . LWN . Sydney Morning Herald . Mad Penguin . . NeoLink Computers . Mad Penguin .
9.0: Sumeet M Moghe's . ExtremeTech . Planeta Linux (Spanish) . Internet Week . The Inquirer . (French) . LinuxElectrons . UnixReview . Open . Pro-Linux (German) . Mad Penguin
8.2: Linux Journal . OfB . NewsForge . The Register . OSNews . Mad Penguin
8.1: ExtremeTech . LinuxFormat (PDF) . Unix Review . Linux Journal . The Register . LinuxLookup . OSNews
8.0: OfB . DistroWatch . LinuxLookup . The Register . NewsForge . DesktopLinux
7.3: ZDNet . NewsForge
7.2: LinuxLookup
7.1: UnixReview . LinuxNovice
SLES 9: NWFusion . . Flexbeta
Linux Desktop: ZDNet . Mad Penguin
Office Desktop: Mad Penguin . eWeek . ExtremeTech
eMail Server: EarthWeb
Status This distribution is active

Fedora core Linux operating system

For many, the linux operating system name Red Hat epitomises Linux, as it is probably the best-known Linux company in the world. Founded in 1995 by Bob Young and Marc Ewing, Red Hat, Inc. has only recently started showing signs of profitability, due to services and its Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system product line. However, Red Hat Linux 9 was the last version in the Red Hat Linux product line, which was replaced by Fedora Core in late 2003. While Fedora is officially sponsored by Red Hat, it is developed with community participation, has a short life-span and serves mainly as a testing base for Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

What is so special about Red Hat linux operating system and Fedora Core? It is a curious mix of conservative and leading-edge packages put together on top of many knowledge-intensive utilities developed in-house. The packages are not the most up-to-date; once a new beta version is announced, the package versions are frozen, except for security updates. The result is a well-tested and stable distribution, the beta program and bug reporting facility are open to the public and there are several mailing lists. Red Hat Linux has become a dominant Linux distribution on servers around the world.

One other reason for Red Hat's success is the variety of popular services the company offers. The software packages are easy to update via Red Hat Network, a free repository of software and valuable information. A vast range of support services and enterprise linux operating system products are available from the company and, while not always cheap, you are virtually assured of an excellent support by highly skilled support personnel. The company has even developed a certification program to further popularise its distribution - the RHCE (Red Hat Certified Engineer) training and examinations are now available in most parts of the world. All these factors have contributed to the fact that Red Hat is now a recognised brand name in the IT industry.

Pros: Widely used, excellent community support, lots of innovation.
Cons: Limited product life-span of the free edition, poor multimedia support, concerns over the Red Hat to Fedora transition
Software package management: up2date (RPM), YUM (RPM)
Free download: Yes

linux operating system fedora core Fedora linux operating system Summary
Distribution: Fedora Project
Home Page:
Origin: USA
Mailing Lists:
User Forums: Fedora Forum . . (German)
Sponsored User Forums:
Sponsored User Forums:
Download: Mirrors:
See also: - ISO Downloads . The Linux Mirror Project
Related Web Sites: Fedora Project . Fedora NEWS . Fedora Forum . Fedorazine . The Unofficial Fedora FAQ . Fedora Tracker . RPM Search . . Rex's RPMs . Dries APT/YUM RPM Repository . DAG: APT/YUM RPM Repository . ATrpms . PyVault RPM Repository . Planet CCRMA . . BIOrpms . The Fedora Legacy Project . . Alpha Core . Fedora PPC . Fedora People . Freshmeat . Fedora Brazil . Fedora France . Fedora Italy . Fedora Netherlands . Fedora Portugal . Fedora Romania . Fedora Spain
Reviews: 4: Mad Penguin . LinuxPlanet
3: QuebecOS (French) . PCInpact (French) . Linux Times . PPCNerds (PPC) . Linux Planet . NewsForge . eWEEK . OSNews . . OSNews . OSNews
2: . OSNews . OSNews . eWEEK . (Czech) . Mad Penguin . . OSNews . OSNews . LinuxPlanet
1: Flexbeta . . Pro-Linux (German) . eWEEK . OSNews . LinuxElectrons . OSNews
Status: This distribution is active.

Slackware Linux operating system

Slackware linux operating system, created by Patrick Volkerding in 1992, is the oldest surviving Linux distribution. It offers no bells and whistles, sticking with a text-based installer and no graphical configuration tools. Where other distributions tried hard to develop easy-to-use front ends for many common utilities, Slackware offers no hand-holding and everything is still done through configuration files. Because of this, Slackware is only recommended to those novice users who intend to spend some time on learning about Linux.

Nevertheless, Slackware has a magic appeal to many users. It is extremely stable and secure - very suitable for server deployment. Experienced linux operating system administrators find that the distribution is less buggy as it uses most packages in their pristine forms and without too many in-house enhancements which have a potential to introduce new bugs. Releases are infrequent (about once a year), although up-to-date packages are always available for download after the official release. Slackware is a fine distribution for those who are interested in deeper knowledge of Linux internals.

Perhaps the best characteristic of this distribution I have heard is this: if you need help with your Linux box, find a Slackware user. A Slackware linux operating system user is more likely to fix the problem than a user familiar with any other distribution.

Pros: Highly stable and bug-free, strong adherence to UNIX principles.
Cons: All configuration is done by editing text files, limited hardware auto-detection.
Software package management: Slackware Package Management (TGZ)
Free download: Yes

Slackware linux operating system summary

 linux operating system Slackware
The Slackware Linux Project

Mandriva Linux operating system

The Mandriva Linux Operating system (formerly Mandrakelinux), started by Gaël Duval, is a distribution that has experienced enormous rise in popularity since its first release in July 1998. The developers took the Red Hat distribution, changed the default desktop to KDE and added an easy-to-use installer, breaking the myth that Linux operating systems are hard to install. Mandrake's hardware detection features and disk partitioning utilities are considered by many to be the best in the industry and many users found themselves running Mandrake where other distributions failed to provide the required usability.

Mandriva Linux has since matured to become a popular distribution among those new to Linux and among home users looking for an alternative operating system. The Mandriva development is completely open and transparent with new packages appearing in the so-called "cooker" directory on a daily basis. When a new release is entering a beta stage, a cooker snapshot is accepted as the first beta. The beta testing process used to be short and intensive, but starting with version 9.0, it has become longer and more thorough. The beta mailing lists are extremely busy, but you are still likely to receive a very fast response to any bug or concern that you report.

The result of this type of development is a cutting edge release - a highly up-to-date Linux Operating system distribution. As a trade-off, the users are likely to notice more bugs and perhaps less stability than with other distributions. Many people find this trade-off acceptable on their desktops - they get the very latest software and the occasional application crash is something they can live with.

Pros: User-friendly, graphical configuration utilities, enormous community support, NTFS partition resizing.
Cons: Some releases are buggy, the releases are initially made available to MandrivaClub members only.
Software package management: urpmi (RPM)
Free download: FTP installation available immediately after release, ISO images only after a delay lasting several weeks

Linux operating system Mandriva
Mandriva Linux Operating system Summary
Distribution: Mandriva Linux
Home Page:
Origin: France
User Forums: Mandriva Users . (German) . (German)
Sponsored User Forums:
Sponsored User Forums:
Documentation: (MandrakeClub members only)
Download Mirrors:
See also: - ISO Downloads . The Linux Mirror Project
Related Web Sites: Mandriva Club . Mandriva Expert . Mandriva Secure . Official Mandriva Community TWiki . Mandrakelinux Community . Penguin Liberation Front (unofficial Mandrake packages) . MandrakeUsers Board . Planet Mandriva . N9NU . Mandrake Tips 4 Free . Use Linux At Home . Freshmeat . Mandriva Czech Republic . Mandriva France . Mandriva Germany . Mandriva in Hindi . Mandriva Ireland . Mandriva Netherlands . Mandriva Poland . Mandriva Romania . Mandriva Spain
Reviews: 2005: playREACTION . Linux News (Polish) . GeekTimeLinux . LinuxPlanet . Mad Penguin . NewsForge . FRLinux (French) .
10.1: QuebecOSx (French) . NewsForge . OSNews . LWN . LinuxForums . Viva O Linux (Portuguese) . QuebecOS (French) . PPCNerds . Linux Tips For Free . . . Spidertools
10.0: . OSNews . OSNews . PCWorld . Flexbeta . MadPenguin . OSNews . Linux Tips For Free
9.2: Linux Tips For Free . MadPenguin . MadPenguin . LinuxElectrons . OfB
9.1: OfB (Part I . Part II) . . Väinö Järvelä . Peterborough LUG . TweakHound . DistroWatch . OSNews
9.0: TechSeekers . UnixReview . LinuxLookup . TweakHound . MozillaQuest . ExtremeTech . OSNews . NewsForge . CNET . LinuxHelp
8.2: NewsForge . . Open For Business
8.0: FreeOS . Little White Dog
Corporate Desktop:
Corporate Server: NewsForge . eWEEK
MandrakeMove: ImAFish . LinuxFrench.Net (French) . OSNews
PPC: (French) . DistroWatch . ATPM

Status: This distribution is active.

GeexBox Linux operating system

GeeXboX linux operating system is a full operating system, running under Linux and based on the excellent MPlayer. No need of hard drive, you just have to put the GeeXboX bootable CD into the CD-Drive of any pentium-class computer to boot it. Moreover, GeeXboX linux operating system is a free software, created thanks to many open-source software. This means that everyone can modify it and build his own release of the GeeXboX. You may wonder why you could have to boot on another operating system to play your media files, but just think about the Mini-ITX plateforms like VIA Epia/Eden or Shuttle barebones. It's now affordable to bring DivX to your home cinema, pluging this kind of computers directly to your TV. At the time of the first development release (December 2002), it was only able to play DivX movies, but for now, nearly every kind of media files can be played from GeeXboX.

linux operating system Geexbox GeeXboX linux operating system Summary
Distribution :
Home Page :
Origin :
Mailing Lists :
User Forums :
Sponsored User Forums:
Sponsored User Forums:
Documentation :
Download Mirrors :
See also: - ISO Downloads . The Linux Mirror Project
Related Web Sites :
Reviews :
PPCNerds .
Status :
This distribution is active.

Windows Gaming under Linux, game with WineX

The growing popularity of the Linux game depends for an important part on the gaming possibilities. Of course lots of people only use their computers for serous productive work, but the majority wants to have some fun as well.

Gaming under Linux was always a weakness. There were limited Linux games available and Windows games did not play on Linux.

The last half year has seen some change in this. With the outcome of the latest version of Wine 2x and WineX 3.x, Windows gaming under Linux is taken a step further. In this issue we concentrate on the commercial version of Wine especially for playing Windows games under Linux, WineX. Next month we will discus Wine itself in a separate article.

What is WineX

Simply said, WineX creates an environment for Windows games to run under Linux and is developed by More technically said, WineX is an alternative implementation of Microsoft's Win32 Application Programming Interfaces (API) which form the basis to run all Windows software. The Win32 APIs themselves are extremely broad, covering thousands of functions like file and disk management, etc.

it free?

It's not a free software package distributed under GNU license, but you have to pay for it via a subscription service with a minimum subscription of three months of $15 or a year subscription of $60.
However you can download a trial version from

How many Windows Games work properly under WineX?

According to our research well over 300 Windows games work well under WineX. These include high rated games and entry level games as well. Some examples of popular Windows games are Max Payne, The Sims, Sim City, Spiderman, Half Life, Medal of Honor, Civilization, Emperor, GTA3, Counterstrike and much more Shooter, Strategy, Adventure, Action and other popular Platform and 3D games.

For a complete list of playable Windows games go to

What are the system requirements for the latest version WineX 3.2.1
WineX supports a wide range of systems, including RPM and Debian based systems. It has been tested extensively on Mandrake Linux 8.1 Gaming Edition.

The core library requirements are:
o Linux Kernel 2.2 or higher
o XFree86 4.0 or higher (4.10 recommended)
o glibc 2.1.3 or higher
o A working hardware accelerated OpenGL implementation

The recommended minimum hardware is
o 500 MHz or faster Pentium or Athlon CPU
o 128 MB memory
o NVidia GeForce graphics card
o 2 -4 GB free hard disk space for games

Working with WineX
WineX requires you to install games into the fake "C:" drive that prepared on your home directory. While it is theoretically possible to run games from an existing Windows partition, there are several complications that you will have to overcome as you go along before you start playing your game. You will need to be patient.

The WineX Game Manager can help mading the job easier for you. This tool makes it easier for you to install and manage your Windows games under WineX and is distributed under the GNU GPL license.

Third party Graphic Game installation Tool WineX Game Manager

The WineX Game Manager has a graphical interface for the Command line version of TransGamings WineX 3.x. Each game gets its own registry and own configuration file and will be installed in a subdirectory of /usr/local/games.

WineX Game Manager makes it easier, as it creates a menu with all installed games from which the game can be launched. There is also an option to update and delete games.

Is it worthwhile to subscribe to and get your WineX?

If you are a fanatic gamer and want to play lots of your Windows games on a Linux system the answer is yes. For $15 you have the complete version of WineX and three months support and upgrades, you are always free to extend your TransGaming subscription later or not. The other option is running Windows games under Wine.

Our conclusion

Of course you can't run as many Windows Games under Linux with Wine in comparison to WineX, but with the latest version of Wine you can run a substantial number of Windows games under Linux. The benefit of Wine is that it is completely free under the GNU license. For those of you in need for speed Windows is still your choice at this time.

More Info

For an overview of Windows applications and games that run under Wine we advise you to go to It's a great website with lots of useful info on Wine. For further info on Wine please go to

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


The ASUS Eee PC (pronounced as the letter e, IPA /iː/) is a subnotebook computer designed by ASUS. At the time of its introduction, it was noted for its combination of a light weight, Linux-based operating system, solid-state drive and relatively low cost. Newer models have added the option of Windows XP operating system, traditional hard disk drives. Newer models have also increased in price, though they remain relatively inexpensive as laptops, and remarkably inexpensive for an ultra-small laptop.

According to ASUS, the name Eee derives from "the three Es," an abbreviation of its advertising slogan for the device: "Easy to learn, Easy to work, Easy to play". The device may fall into a newly defined category of netbooks. According to DigiTimes, it is manufactured by Pegatron Technology.

In the UK, the ASUS Eee PC is also distributed as the RM Asus Minibook by RM.

Image:ASUS Eee White Alt-small.png
Developer ASUSTeK Computer Inc.
Type Subnotebook/Netbook
Media 2/4/8/12/20/40/80 GB (2G, 4G, 8G, 900 Win, 900, 1000, 1000H)
Operating system Linux Xandros,
MS-Windows XP
Input Keyboard

0.3 megapixel video camera (4G and 8G models)
or 1,3 megapixel video camera (900/1001 series)

Power 4 cell 4400 (700 series, surf models and 900 series) or 5200 (700 series, non-surf models) mAh battery

CPU 900 MHz Intel Celeron-M ULV 353/1.6Ghz Intel Atom

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Friday, August 8, 2008

History of cryptography

The history of cryptography begins thousands of years ago. Until recent decades, it has been the story of what might be called classic cryptography — that is, of methods of encryption that use pen and paper, or perhaps simple mechanical aids. In the early 20th century, the invention of complex mechanical and electromechanical machines, such as the Enigma rotor machine, provided more sophisticated and efficient means of encryption; and the subsequent introduction of electronics and computing has allowed elaborate schemes of still greater complexity, most of which are entirely unsuited to pen and paper.

The development of cryptography has been paralleled by the development of cryptanalysis — of the "breaking" of codes and ciphers. The discovery and application, early on, of frequency analysis to the reading of encrypted communications has on occasion altered the course of history. Thus the Zimmermann Telegram triggered the United States' entry into World War I; and Allied reading of Nazi Germany's ciphers shortened World War II, in some evaluations by as much as two years.

Until the 1970s, secure cryptography was largely the preserve of governments. Two events have since brought it squarely into the public domain: the creation of a public encryption standard (DES); and the invention of public-key cryptography.

  • Classical cryptography

The earliest known use of cryptography is found in non-standard hieroglyphs carved into monuments from Egypt's Old Kingdom (ca 4500+ years ago). These are not thought to be serious attempts at secret communications, however, but rather to have been attempts at mystery, intrigue, or even amusement for literate onlookers. These are examples of still other uses of cryptography, or of something that looks (impressively if misleadingly) like it. Some clay tablets from Mesopotamia, somewhat later are clearly meant to protect information — they encrypt recipes, presumably commercially valuable. Later still, Hebrew scholars made use of simple monoalphabetic substitution ciphers (such as the Atbash cipher) beginning perhaps around 500 to 600 BC.

A Scytale, an early device for encryption.
A Scytale, an early device for encryption.

Cryptography has a long tradition in religious writing likely to offend the dominant culture or political authorities. Perhaps the most famous is the 'Number of the Beast' from the Book of Revelation in the Christian New Testament. '666' might be a cryptographic (i.e., encrypted) way of concealing a dangerous reference; many scholars believe it's a concealed reference to the Roman Empire, or more likely to the Emperor Nero himself, (and so to Roman persecution policies) that would have been understood by the initiated (who 'had the key to understanding'), and yet be safe or at least deniable (and so 'less' dangerous) if it came to the attention of the authorities. At least for orthodox Christian writing, most of the need for such concealment ended with Constantine's conversion and the adoption of Christianity as the official religion of the Empire.
A Scytale, an early device for encryption.

The Greeks of Classical times are said to have known of ciphers (e.g., the scytale transposition cipher claimed to have been used by the Spartan military). Herodotus tells us of secret messages physically concealed beneath wax on wooden tablets or as a tattoo on a slave's head concealed by regrown hair, though these are not properly examples of cryptography per se as the message, once known, is directly readable; this is known as steganography. The Romans certainly did know something of cryptography (e.g., the Caesar cipher and its variations). There is ancient mention of a book about Roman military cryptography (especially Julius Caesar's); it has been, unfortunately, lost.

In India, cryptography was also well known. It is recommended in the Kama Sutra as a technique by which lovers can communicate without being discovered.

  • Medieval cryptography

It was probably religiously motivated textual analysis of the Qur'an which led to the invention of the frequency analysis technique for breaking monoalphabetic substitution ciphers by al-Kindi sometime around AD 800 (Ibrahim Al-Kadi -1992). It was the most fundamental cryptanalytic advance until WWII. Essentially all ciphers remained vulnerable to this cryptanalytic technique until the development of the polyalphabetic cipher by Alberti (ca 1465), and many remained so thereafter.[citation needed] Although Alberti is usually considered the father of polyalphabetic cipher, Prof. Al-Kadi's 1990 paper (ref- 3), reviewing Arabic contributions to cryptography reported knowledge of polyalphabetic ciphers 500 years before Alberti, based on a recently discovered manuscript.

The first page of al-Kindi's manuscript On Deciphering Cryptographic Messages, containing the first descriptions of cryptanalysis and frequency analysis.
The first page of al-Kindi's manuscript On Deciphering Cryptographic Messages, containing the first descriptions of cryptanalysis and frequency analysis.

The Arab mathematician, Abu Yusuf Yaqub ibn Ishaq ibn as-Sabbah ibn 'Omran ibn Ismail al-Kindi, wrote a book on crytography entitled Risalah fi Istikhraj al-Mu'amma (Manuscript for the Deciphering Cryptographic Messages), circa AD 800. He described the first cryptanalysis techniques, including some for polyalphabetic ciphers, cipher classification, Arabic Phonetics and Syntax, and, most importantly, described the use of several techniques for cryptanalysis, and gave the first descriptions on frequency analysis. He also covered methods of encipherments, cryptanalysis of certain encipherments, and statistical analysis of letters and letter combinations in Arabic.

Ahmad al-Qalqashandi (1355-1418) wrote the Subh al-a 'sha, a 14-volume encyclopedia which included a section on cryptology. This information was attributed to Taj ad-Din Ali ibn ad-Duraihim ben Muhammad ath-Tha 'alibi al-Mausili who lived from 1312 to 1361, but whose writings on cryptology have been lost. The list of ciphers in this work included both substitution and transposition, and for the first time, a cipher with multiple substitutions for each plaintext letter. Also traced to Ibn al-Duraihim is an exposition on and worked example of cryptanalysis, including the use of tables of letter frequencies and sets of letters which can not occur together in one word.

In Europe, cryptography became (secretly) more important as a consequence of political competition and religious revolution. For instance, in Europe during and after the Renaissance, citizens of the various Italian states — the Papal States and the Roman Catholic Church included — were responsible for rapid proliferation of cryptographic techniques, few of which reflect understanding (or even knowledge) of Alberti's polyalphabetic advance. 'Advanced ciphers', even after Alberti, weren't as advanced as their inventors / developers / users claimed (and probably even themselves believed). They were regularly broken. This over-optimism may be inherent in cryptography for it was then, and remains today, fundamentally difficult to really know how vulnerable your system actually is. In the absence of knowledge, guesses and hopes, as may be expected, are common.

Cryptography, cryptanalysis, and secret agent/courier betrayal featured in the Babington plot during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I which led to the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots. An encrypted message from the time of the Man in the Iron Mask (decrypted just prior to 1900 by Étienne Bazeries) has shed some, regrettably non-definitive, light on the identity of that real, if legendary and unfortunate, prisoner. Cryptography, and its misuse, were involved in the plotting which led to the execution of Mata Hari and in the conniving which led to the travesty of Dreyfus' conviction and imprisonment, both in the early 20th century. Fortunately, cryptographers were also involved in exposing the machinations which had led to Dreyfus' problems; Mata Hari, in contrast, was shot.

Outside of Europe, after the end of the Muslim Golden Age at the hand of the Mongols, cryptography remained comparatively undeveloped. Cryptography in Japan seems not to have been used until about 1510, and advanced techniques were not known until after the opening of the country to the West beginning in the 1860s.

  • Cryptography from 1800 to World War II

Although cryptography has a long and complex history, it wasn't until the 19th century that it developed anything more than ad hoc approaches to either encryption or cryptanalysis (the science of finding weaknesses in crypto systems). Examples of the latter include Charles Babbage's Crimean War era work on mathematical cryptanalysis of polyalphabetic ciphers, rediscovered and published somewhat later by the Prussian Friedrich Kasiski. Understanding of cryptography at this time typically consisted of hard-won rules of thumb; see, for example, Auguste Kerckhoffs' cryptographic writings in the latter 19th century. Edgar Allan Poe used systematic methods to solve ciphers in the 1840s. In particular he placed a notice of his abilities in the Philadelphia paper Alexander's Weekly (Express) Messenger, inviting submissions of ciphers, of which he proceeded to solve almost all. His success created a public stir for some months. He later wrote an essay on methods of cryptography which proved useful as an introduction for novice Room 40 British cryptanalysts attempting to break German codes and ciphers during World War I.

In 1917, Gilbert Vernam proposed a teletype cipher in which a previously-prepared key, kept on paper tape, is combined character by character with the plaintext message to produce the cyphertext. This led to the development of the one time pad and the use of electromechanical devices as cipher machines.

Mathematical methods proliferated in the period prior to World War II (notably in William F. Friedman's application of statistical techniques to cryptanalysis and cipher development and in Marian Rejewski's initial break into the German Army's version of the Enigma system) in 1932. Both cryptography and cryptanalysis have become far more mathematical since WWII. Even so, it has taken the wide availability of computers, and the Internet as a communications medium, to bring effective cryptography into common use by anyone other than national governments or similarly large enterprises.

  • World War II cryptography

The Enigma machine was widely used by Nazi Germany; its cryptanalysis by the Allies provided vital Ultra intelligence.

By World War II, mechanical and electromechanical cipher machines were in wide use, although — where such machines were impractical — manual systems continued in use. Great advances were made in cipher-breaking, all in secrecy. Information about this period has begun to be declassified as the official British 50-year secrecy period has come to an end, as U.S. archives have slowly opened, and as assorted memoirs and articles have appeared.

The Enigma machine was widely used by Nazi Germany; its cryptanalysis by the Allies provided vital Ultra intelligence.
The Enigma machine was widely used by Nazi Germany; its cryptanalysis by the Allies provided vital Ultra intelligence.

The Germans made heavy use, in several variants, of an electromechanical rotor machine known as Enigma. Mathematician Marian Rejewski, at Poland's Cipher Bureau, in December 1932 reconstructed the German Army Enigma, using mathematics and limited documentation supplied by Captain Gustave Bertrand of French military intelligence. This was the greatest breakthrough in cryptanalysis in a thousand years and more. Rejewski and his mathematical Cipher Bureau colleagues, Jerzy Różycki and Henryk Zygalski, continued reading Enigma and keeping pace with the evolution of the machine's components and encipherment procedures. As the Poles' resources became strained by the changes being introduced by the Germans, and as war loomed, the Cipher Bureau, on the Polish General Staff's instructions, on July 25, 1939, at Warsaw, initiated French and British intelligence representatives into the secrets of Enigma decryption.

Soon after World War II broke out on September 1, 1939, key Cipher Bureau personnel were evacuated southeastward; on September 17, as the Soviet Union entered eastern Poland, they crossed into Romania. From there they reached Paris, France; at PC Bruno, near Paris, they continued breaking Enigma, collaborating with British cryptologists at Bletchley Park as the British got up to speed. In due course, the British cryptologists — whose ranks included many chess masters and mathematics dons such as Gordon Welchman, Max Newman, and Alan Turing the conceptual founder of modern computing — substantially advanced the scale and technology of Enigma decryption.

At the end of the War, on 19 April 1945 Britain's top military officers were told that they could never reveal that the German Enigma code had been broken because it would give the defeated enemy the chance to say they "were not well and fairly beaten".

US Navy cryptographers (with cooperation from British and Dutch cryptographers after 1940) broke into several Japanese Navy crypto systems. The break into one of them, JN-25, famously led to the US victory in the Battle of Midway. A US Army group, the SIS, managed to break the highest security Japanese diplomatic cipher system (an electromechanical 'stepping switch' machine called Purple by the Americans) even before WWII began. The Americans referred to the intelligence resulting from cryptanalysis, perhaps especially that from the Purple machine, as 'Magic'. The British eventually settled on 'Ultra' for intelligence resulting from cryptanalysis, particularly that from message traffic enciphered by the various Enigmas. An earlier British term for Ultra had been 'Boniface'.

The German military also deployed several mechanical attempts at a one-time pad. Bletchley Park called them the Fish ciphers, and Max Newman and colleagues designed and deployed the Heath Robinson, and then the world's first programmable digital electronic computer, the Colossus, to help with their cryptanalysis. The German Foreign Office began to use the one-time pad in 1919; some of this traffic was read in WWII partly as the result of recovery of some key material in South America that was discarded without sufficient care by a German courier.

SIGABA is described in U.S. Patent 6,175,625 , filed in 1944 but not issued until 2001.
SIGABA is described in U.S. Patent 6,175,625 , filed in 1944 but not issued until 2001.

The Japanese Foreign Office used a locally developed electrical stepping switch based system (called Purple by the US), and also used several similar machines for attaches in some Japanese embassies. One of these was called the 'M-machine' by the US, another was referred to as 'Red'. All were broken, to one degree or another by the Allies.

  • Modern cryptography


The era of modern cryptography really begins with Claude Shannon, arguably the father of mathematical cryptography, with the work he did during WWII on communications security. In 1949 he published the paper Communication Theory of Secrecy Systems in the Bell System Technical Journal and a little later the book, Mathematical Theory of Communication, with Warren Weaver. both included results from his WWII work. These, in addition to his other works on information and communication theory established a solid theoretical basis for cryptography and for cryptanalysis. And with that, cryptography more or less disappeared into secret government communications organizations such as the NSA, GCHQ, and equivalents elsewhere. Very little work was again made public until the mid '70s, when everything changed.

An encryption standard

The mid-1970s saw two major public (i.e., non-secret) advances. First was the publication of the draft Data Encryption Standard in the U.S. Federal Register on 17 March 1975. The proposed DES was submitted by IBM, at the invitation of the National Bureau of Standards (now NIST), in an effort to develop secure electronic communication facilities for businesses such as banks and other large financial organizations. After 'advice' and modification by the NSA, it was adopted and published as a Federal Information Processing Standard Publication in 1977 (currently at FIPS 46-3). DES was the first publicly accessible cipher to be 'blessed' by a national agency such as NSA. The release of its specification by NBS stimulated an explosion of public and academic interest in cryptography.

The aging DES was officially replaced by the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) in 2001 when NIST announced FIPS 197. After an open competition, NIST selected Rijndael, submitted by two Belgian cryptographers, to be the AES. DES, and more secure variants of it (such as Triple DES; see FIPS 46-3), are still used today, having been incorporated into many national and organizational standards. However, its 56-bit key-size has been shown to be insufficient to guard against brute force attacks (one such attack, undertaken by the cyber civil-rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation in 1997, succeeded in 56 hours — the story is in Cracking DES, published by O'Reilly and Associates). As a result, use of straight DES encryption is now without doubt insecure for use in new cryptosystem designs, and messages protected by older cryptosystems using DES, and indeed all messages sent since 1976 using DES, are also at risk. Regardless of its inherent quality, the DES key size (56-bits) was thought to be too small by some even in 1976, perhaps most publicly by Whitfield Diffie. There was suspicion that government organizations even then had sufficient computing power to break DES messages; clearly others have achieved this capability.

Public key

The second development, in 1976, was perhaps even more important, for it fundamentally changed the way cryptosystems might work. This was the publication of the paper New Directions in Cryptography by Whitfield Diffie and Martin Hellman. It introduced a radically new method of distributing cryptographic keys, which went far toward solving one of the fundamental problems of cryptography, key distribution, and has become known as Diffie-Hellman key exchange. The article also stimulated the almost immediate public development of a new class of enciphering algorithms, the asymmetric key algorithms.

Prior to that time, all useful modern encryption algorithms had been symmetric key algorithms, in which the same cryptographic key is used with the underlying algorithm by both the sender and the recipient, who must both keep it secret. All of the electromechanical machines used in WWII were of this logical class, as were the Caesar and Atbash ciphers and essentially all cipher and code systems throughout history. The 'key' for a code is, of course, the codebook, which must likewise be distributed and kept secret.

Of necessity, the key in every such system had to be exchanged between the communicating parties in some secure way prior to any use of the system (the term usually used is 'via a secure channel') such as a trustworthy courier with a briefcase handcuffed to a wrist, or face-to-face contact, or a loyal carrier pigeon. This requirement is never trivial and rapidly becomes unmanageable as the number of participants increases, or when secure channels aren't available for key exchange, or when, as is sensible cryptographic practice, keys are frequently changed. In particular, if messages are meant to be secure from other users, a separate key is required for each possible pair of users. A system of this kind is known as a secret key, or symmetric key cryptosystem. D-H key exchange (and succeeding improvements and variants) made operation of these systems much easier, and more secure, than had ever been possible before.

In contrast, asymmetric key encryption uses a pair of mathematically related keys, each of which decrypts the encryption performed using the other. Some, but not all, of these algorithms have the additional property that one of the paired keys cannot be deduced from the other by any known method other than trial and error. An algorithm of this kind is known as a public key or asymmetric key system. Using such an algorithm, only one key pair is needed per user. By designating one key of the pair as private (always secret), and the other as public (often visible), no secure channel is needed for key exchange. So long as the private key stays secret, the public key can be widely known for a very long time without compromising security, making it safe to reuse the same key pair indefinitely.

For two users of an asymmetric key algorithm to communicate securely over an insecure channel, each user will need to know their own public and private keys as well as the other user's public key. Take this basic scenario: Alice and Bob each have a pair of keys they've been using for years with many other users. At the start of their message, they exchange public keys, unencrypted over an insecure line. Alice then encrypts a message using her private key, and then re-encrypts that result using Bob's public key. The double-encrypted message is then sent as digital data over a wire from Alice to Bob. Bob receives the bit stream and decrypts it using his own private key, and then decrypts that bit stream using Alice's public key. If the final result is recognizable as a message, Bob can be confident that the message actually came from someone who knows Alice's private key, and that anyone eavesdropping on the channel will need Bob's private key in order to understand the message.

Asymmetric algorithms rely for their effectiveness on a class of problems in mathematics called one-way functions, which require relatively little computational power to execute, but vast amounts of power to reverse. A classic example of a one-way function is multiplication of large prime numbers. It's fairly quick to multiply two large primes, but very difficult to factor the product of two large primes. Because of the mathematics of one-way functions, most possible keys are bad choices as cryptographic keys; only a small fraction of the possible keys of a given length are suitable, and so asymmetric algorithms require very long keys to reach the same level of security provided by relatively shorter symmetric keys. The need to both generate the key pairs, and perform the encryption/decryption operations make asymmetric algorithms computationally expensive, compared to most symmetric algorithms. Since symmetric algorithms can often use any sequence of (random, or at least unpredictable) bits as a key, a disposable session key can be quickly generated for short-term use. Consequently, it is common practice to use a long asymmetric key to exchange a disposable, much shorter (but just as strong) symmetric key. The slower asymmetric algorithm securely sends a symmetric session key, and the faster symmetric algorithm takes over for the remainder of the message.

Asymmetric key cryptography, Diffie-Hellman key exchange, and the best known of the public key / private key algorithms (i.e., what is usually called the RSA algorithm), all seem to have been independently developed at a UK intelligence agency before the public announcement by Diffie and Hellman in '76. GCHQ has released documents claiming that they had developed public key cryptography before the publication of Diffie and Hellman's paper. Various classified papers were written at GCHQ during the 1960s and 1970s which eventually led to schemes essentially identical to RSA encryption and to Diffie-Hellman key exchange in 1973 and 1974. Some of these have now been published, and the inventors (James H. Ellis, Clifford Cocks, and Malcolm Williamson) have made public (some of) their work.

Cryptography politics

This in turn broke the near monopoly on high quality cryptography held by government organizations (see S Levy's Crypto for a journalistic account of some of the policy controversy in the US). For the first time ever, those outside government organizations had access to cryptography not readily breakable by anyone (including governments). Considerable controversy, and conflict, both public and private, began more or less immediately. It has not yet subsided. In many countries, for example, export of cryptography is subject to restrictions. Until 1996 export from the U.S. of cryptography using keys longer than 40 bits was sharply limited. As recently as 2004, former FBI Director Louis Freeh, testifying before the 9/11 Commission, called for new laws against public use of encryption.

One of the most important people favoring strong encryption for public use was Phil Zimmermann. He wrote and then in 1991 released PGP (Pretty Good Privacy), a very high quality crypto system.. He distributed a freeware version of PGP when he felt threatened by legislation then under consideration by the US Government that would require back doors be included in all cryptographic solutions developed within the US. His efforts in releasing PGP worldwide earned him a long battle with the Justice Department for the alleged violation of export restrictions. The Justice Department eventually dropped its case against Zimmermann, and the freeware distribution of PGP made its way around the world and eventually became an open standard (RFC 2440 or OpenPGP).

  • Modern cryptanalysis

Modern cryptanalysts sometimes harness large numbers of integrated circuits. This board is part of the EFF DES cracker, which contained over 1800 custom chips and could brute force a DES key in a matter of days.

Modern cryptanalysts sometimes harness large numbers of integrated circuits. This board is part of the EFF DES cracker, which contained over 1800 custom chips and could brute force a DES key in a matter of days.
Modern cryptanalysts sometimes harness large numbers of integrated circuits. This board is part of the EFF DES cracker, which contained over 1800 custom chips and could brute force a DES key in a matter of days.

While modern ciphers like AES are widely considered unbreakable, poor designs are still sometimes adopted and there have been important cryptanalytic breaks of deployed crypto systems in recent years. Notable examples of broken crypto designs include DES, the first Wi-Fi encryption scheme WEP, the Content Scrambling System used for encrypting and controlling DVD use, the A5/1 and A5/2 ciphers used in GSM cell phones, and the CRYPTO1 cipher used in the widely deployed MIFARE Classic smart cards of NXP Semiconductors. All of these are symmetric ciphers. Thus far, not one of the mathematical ideas underlying public key cryptography has been proven to be 'unbreakable' and so some future advance might render systems relying on them insecure. While few informed observers foresee such a breakthrough, the key size recommended for security keeps increasing as increased computing power required for breaking codes becomes cheaper and more available.


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