Encryption on Mailing lists sensless?

Robert J. Hansen rjh at sixdemonbag.org
Wed Nov 19 18:08:42 CET 2014

> First, "charlatan" and "snake oil" imply deceit.

 From Google: "A product, policy, etc. of little real worth or value that
is promoted as the solution to a problem."

So let me say it clearly: your product is of little real worth or value.
It's snake oil.  It doesn't appear to bring anything to the table that
SMTP+TLS+DNSSEC doesn't already (as M. Garreau already observed before me).

> I humbly suggest this demonstrates that we are trying very hard not
> to fool anyone.

Except the people you want to sell this service to at $5,000 a year.
You want them to believe you are a knowledgeable expert about
communications and computer security issues.  As near as I can tell, you
are not, nor do you recognize that you are not.

I don't think you're malicious.  I think you're foolish and are trying
to sell your foolishness to the scared and the desperate at a high
price.  I am urging, begging, you to stop.  It's socially irresponsible.

> You made the great point that a mail server and sysadmin is a single
> point of failure. This is covered in our Design document referenced
> from our Technical FAQ.

There is no design document referenced from your technical FAQ.  There's
an entry, "What is GoodCrypto's design?", that says nothing of your
design.  It's a marketing document, not something that an engineer can
use to get a grip on how the application stack is architected.

For that matter, even as marketing material it's rife with errors.

"Just reboot to remove Advanced Persistent Threats."

If getting rid of it is that simple, it's neither persistent nor advanced.

"To avoid forensics, most malware is volatile."

Malware, especially poorly-written malware, writes to disk frequently
and leaves behind many traces.  This is the _raison d'etre_ of the
antivirus industry: that's why periodically your AV software scans your
hard disk looking for signatures.

"Elliptic curve [cryptography] is known [to be] compromised."

I would love to see references for this.  Again, peer-reviewed papers in
reputable journals, please.

"Virtual machine attacks are not yet well known."

In fact, they're so well known they've broken out of the high-end
forensics world and into DEFCON.  (Seriously.  At DEFCON 20 Alex
Minozhenko gave a talk on "How To Hack VMWare In 60 Seconds.")

I could go on, but ... I trust my point is made clear.

> We'll have to disagree on whether we should ignore clear evidence
> about DSA because academics haven't published yet.

I've asked for your "clear evidence" several times and the only thing
you've got is, "in 2000, NIST specified using 1024-bit keys for DSA.
Obviously DSA is compromised."  And you haven't even offered that much
for your claim that elliptical curve cryptography is compromised.

> I understand this is very important to you because of your NIST
> association.

It's important to me because I despise snake oil, especially when it's
sold to desperate and scared people.

I am not associated with NIST in any respect other than "I wrote a piece
of software for the forensics community which helps facilitate hash
lookups against a NIST dataset."

Anyway.  I'm finished here.  I think there's now enough of a record
associated with this that when people thinking of dropping $5K on
GoodCrypto do a Google search for it, they'll find my objections.

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