multiple subkeys and key transition

John Clizbe John at
Fri Dec 10 02:48:42 CET 2010

Robert J. Hansen wrote:
> On 12/9/2010 6:18 PM, Ben McGinnes wrote:
>> The last bit of documentation I saw on ECC is a little old and stated
>> that it wasn't well known enough to consider using.  I guess that's
>> changed now.
> Back in 2000 or so, the consensus was that ECC was too new and rested on
> some dicey conjectures.  Since the proof of the Taniyama-Shimura
> conjecture (or, as it's now called, Wiles' Theorem), ECC's theoretical
> underpinnings seem to be on fairly solid ground.
> The National Security Agency has approved ECC for use in its Suite B of
> cryptographic algorithms, and has authorized it for protection of the
> highest levels of state secrets (TS/SCI) when used with 384-bit ECC keys.
> John's information (that Suite B was authorized for SECRET) is correct:
> he was looking at the bit about Suite B that relates to 256-bit ECC keys.
"A key aspect of Suite B is its use of elliptic curve technology instead of
classical public key technology. During the transition to the use of elliptic
curve cryptography in ECDH and ECDSA, DH, DSA and RSA can be used with a
2048-bit modulus to protect classified information up to the _secret_ level."

"...This process will allow vendors who have NSA-certified Type 1 cryptographic
products to develop a version of this product that uses Suite B cryptography and
meets a revised set of NSA’s security standards which are appropriate for
protecting information up to the SECRET level. Also, depending on our clients’
needs, it will allow vendors to develop cryptographic products that only meet
the set of NSA’s security standards that are appropriate for protecting
information up to the SECRET level. When these products do not contain any
classified algorithms or technology, the handling and accountability
requirements will be less stringent than for a Controlled COMSEC Item (CCI)."

Over and over on that page, one sees the phrase "up to the SECRET level."

Most details of Suite-B for information above SECRET are classified, IIRC.

John P. Clizbe                      Inet:John (a)
FSF Assoc #995 / FSFE Fellow #1797  hkp://  or
     mailto:pgp-public-keys at

Q:"Just how do the residents of Haiku, Hawai'i hold conversations?"
A:"An odd melody / island voices on the winds / surplus of vowels"

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