back to article China bans encryption exports – including quantum and key management tech

China has restricted export of encryption technologies in the first list on new items published under new export control laws. The list, which The Register has passed through two machine translation services, restricts exports of VPNs, chips with encryption functions used in finance industry applications, key management …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Omnisec

    Probably related to the recent Omnisec news story.

    Remember [Crypto AG], the CIA & BND secretly owned company selling backdoored encryption out of Switzerland?

    Well Google [Omnisec AG SRF], the Swiss are accusing a second company of selling backdoored CIA kit under Swiss flag guise!

    November 26 2020:

    https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/business/second-swiss-firm-allegedly-sold-encrypted-spying-devices/46186432

    The Chinese see an opportunity obviously. They have working encryption, the west does not!

    Whatever secret key you have to that backdoored encryption, it will have made its way from USA to Putin via Trump. Your security is compromised. Your backdoors are open to an aggressive attacker. An attacker that kills US troops, takes over US bases, attacks elections, funnels money to its chosen candidates worldwide, including GOP candidates, creates propaganda attack packages for Rudi Gulliani and Fox News to launch against America. And you gave them your backdoors.

    Have these encryption systems been used in voting machines? You need to mandate the paper audit trail on all voting now. Without delay. It does not matter that you don't know how the Russians can compromise your voting, by the time they do it is too late. All voting machines need to be auditable independent of the machine. Paper audit trails, paper ballot copies.

    Have these encrypted systems been used across the world in voting systems, e.g. Estonia's eVoting system? You have compromised Estonian democracy if they have. How many commercial secrets are compromised by the this? How many secondary systems are compromised by this? How many critical control systems are compromised by this? How much damage have you done to the west?

    1. Lyle Dietz

      Re: Omnisec

      You have some very interesting comments there; do you have a newsletter that one could subscribe to by any chance?

    2. cbars

      Re: Omnisec

      If you're going to use "google" as an adjective, please don't capitalise the first letter like a Noun. It took me 5 attempts to understand the third sentence, and having spent all the effort there, I didn't bother trying to understand the rest of your post. I'm still not sure I understand the third sentence, actually.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Omnisec

        Square brackets denote a search term.

        The capitalization isn't the key, a capital might be the start of a sentence, the square brackets are the key.

        Google [bracket usage search term] to understand better.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Omnisec

          Neg modders:

          If you Google "[bracket usage search term]", you'll get results that walk you through the use of the square brackets as a thing that denotes a search term.

          So in the original comment [Crypto AG] will return relevant results. So will [Omnisec AG SRF]. Whether the word 'Google' is used or not isn't the important thing, see the square brackets and realize that's a search term.

          [Crypto AG] and [Omnisec AG SRF] are two examples of US backdoored encryption resulting in compromised equipment in the West. Now vulnerable to Russian attack courtesy of their political puppets.

          What are the chances of 3 backdoored encryptions? Well 100%, we already know about

          [Dual_EC_DRBG] the not-so-random key generator. That's a random number generated from a key, and that root key is now compromised.

          You can see that it seems to be everyday practice to backdoor the wests crypto, so any nation with secure crypto has more security than the west.

          Given the news of last week on Omnisec, the Chinese move is likely related to it.

          USA suffers the [Brett Kavanaugh Russian Election Interference] problem, Brett legitimized money flows into US politics from foreign entities. His ruling was cited by the Russians in their funding of Trump and the GOP. Trump is not a one-off, he's the pattern for the next 20-50 years. Any backdoor you create for yourself will be handed to those pulling the puppets strings. Today Russia, tomorrow China. Those backdoors in turn can be used to help get more puppets into power. By adding backdoors to your encryption systems you are writing your own demise.

          Don't add the backdoors.

          You 5 eyes lot perhaps know history. Stories of traitors opening the gates to cities and letting the army in the backdoor to murder the villagers while they sleep? That's you, those backdoors you created. All that military and all that security and you undermined that. Your backdoors are the open gate they snuck into.

          No backdoors.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Omnisec

            You now you can embed the actual links that you [bracketed], no?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Omnisec

        If you're going to use "google" as a verb, please don't call it an adjective.

    3. iron Silver badge

      Re: Omnisec

      If Donnie had given Vlad the keys to the voting machines surely he would have used them to ensure his orange buddy won? Not much point compromising the voting machines and altering the votes so your patsy doesn't win.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Omnisec

        I think there was a disparity between areas that used 'validating' vote machines (e.g. by generating a paper copy of the ballot) and those that didn't.

        1. DS999 Silver badge

          Re: Omnisec

          There are not many of the touchscreen w/o paper trail machines left, so little room for hacking an election that way. I suppose one could still hack the tabulators that scan the ballots, but when hand recounts are done (which happened in many states, even where the presidential election wasn't in dispute by Trump there are always various state/county races that are close - Iowa had a congressional race won by only 6 votes!) you would quickly catch such shenanigans.

          I was very worried about the future of US elections after 2000 when there was a rush to go to "touch screen" voting seen as futuristic by those without a clue and almost none of it had a paper trail. Luckily enough people with the right credentials pushed back on the risks of that hard enough and for long enough that it has already been replaced in most areas. Trump's baseless claims of fraud might have one good effect in making it possible to get "election security" funding to replace what remains of it in time for the 2024 election.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Quantum cryptographic equipment is also barred from leaving China without permission, a notable inclusion as China has demonstrated quantum key distribution in space and operates a satellite that uses entangled photons and spooky action at a distance to share keys."

    It had a filtering signal. The filtering signal selects the subset of photons for which the condition is true. You are not setting the property by measuring it, you are selecting the subset of photons for which the entanglement effect applies. So an attacker is not setting the property by measuring it, and so the basis for the security of this key exchange is bunkum. (and your Bells test is after the filtering, so don't start with your Bells spiel).

    So, see this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yr3ngmRuGUc

    A helicopter with stationary rotor blades. The camera and rotor are in sync (~a sort of resonance), and you view the net effect between the two.

    This is your photon, its properties are the net effect between the detector and actual photon.

    Take n helicopters, all the same make and model. (~entangled helicopters if you will).

    Take n cameras.

    Helicopter h1 viewed by camera c1, h2 by c2, h3 by c3.... hn by cn.

    The shutter speed of the cameras is different/random, and the resulting tail rotor motions are also different.

    Filter for cases where the resulting net motion of the rotor is the same (e.g. c1h1 and c5h5), and you will see the tail rotor is moving the same. You haven't set the property of the tail rotor, you've simply uncovered the connection between the tail rotor motion and the main rotor motion for a given class of 'entangled' helicopter.

    You're removing the previously unknown variable of the camera shutter speed in relation to the helicopter! After filtering you then know c1's relationship to h1 is the same as c5's to h5, and so camera c1's relationship to the tail rotor of h1, is the same as c5s relationship to the tail rotor of h5.

    In the above there are only two variables, the motion of the rotor and the motion of the tail rotor. Yet the properties of he photons and particles appear independent. That's simply because there are an infinite set of combinations that will result in the same net oscillation. For a given 'entangled' system there is a pattern that defines that, and you are uncovering that pattern as you eliminate the unknown pattern of the camera/detector and the photon.

    So, QE is bunkum.

    Let them have their bunkum.

    1. Alister

      Fascinating. Are you an actual Quantum Mechanic, with the overalls and toolbox and everything?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        That helicopter with the non-rotating blades is a nice visual metaphor for matter.

        A rotor blade that is moving, yet has no net motion relative to an observing camera.

        If you fired a projectile through the gap between the blades they might hit the blade, even in the gap. The blade is everywhere and nowhere according to a probability distribution.

        It isn't moving, yet has some sort of energy that doesn't correspond to motion. Rotation / translation / spin/ oscillations / heat all correspond to motion, but those rotors aren't moving so what energy is keeping hte helicopter in the air?....Its stationary with respect to an observer, so it must be mass. Mass is the only candidate left.

        See the spin at the end of the video? The slight difference between observer camera and rotor results in a spin. You have motion. What was mass is now motion, a slow spin of the rotors in this example. But the rotors motion is the same, the observers shutter speed relative to it, is what changed. The mechanism of motion hasn't changed*

        So all motion is this motion. All spin, translations, rotation, wobble, oscillation, all this motion. The movement of light? Same motion over the same field.**

        Now you're here, young students of the stupidly obvious, go take Quantum Mechanics 101 and pretend you cannot see it.

        *And when you realize that mass is relative to an observer, try not to think of the consequence of that. Try not to think what happens in a particle accelerator for example, that would not be good for your career.

        ** Also try not to think how you would get the rotor blades to go in reverse, no don't think about that. Demons demons!

        1. ICL1900-G3 Bronze badge

          Do you take drugs? Just curious.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And don’t you dare try to get a fax machine into the Middle Kingdom

    or a knife ;)

    ...

    you think it's funny? Well, you'll remember this when passing through 2nd (or 3rd) luggage control at a Chinese train station :)

  4. Christoph

    "Perhaps Beijing only wants kit it knows it can crack"

    Or perhaps doesn't want kit it knows the USA can crack.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Christoph : Now I begin to understand

      why US has adopted AES wholeheartedly.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @Christoph : Now I begin to understand

        AES isn't even American, it's a simplified form of Rijndael which was invented in Belgium (it's name is derived from the name of its inventors, Joan Daemen en Vincent Rijmen).

        The US couldn't possibly acknowledge that someone else could come up with something good, so they had to give it a new name..

        1. Mr. Flibble

          Re: @Christoph : Now I begin to understand

          "The US couldn't possibly acknowledge that someone else could come up with something good, so they had to give it a new name.." - Not quite.

          They'd already picked the name "AES" as a sort of competition to replace the "DES" standard. There were 8 (ish) competing algorithms at the start of the process, so whichever won would still have been called AES....

  5. Brian Miller

    Cat? Bag? Horse? Barn?

    Some of the stuff that has banned has been passing across borders for quite some time, in cell phones. What is the point of the ban, when Chinese factories are literally the source of so much of what they think will be banned?

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: Cat? Bag? Horse? Barn?

      The point of the ban is to set themselves up with more leverage when Biden becomes president and actual negotiations between the US occur, versus the current tit for tat tariff battle. Biden said a few days ago that he wasn't going to drop the tariffs unilaterally when he became president, saying "why would I give up that leverage?" and China clearly heard him.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Quote: "...a symmetric cryptographic algorithm key length of 64 or more, 768 or more integer-based key length by sub asymmetric cryptographic algorithm or decomposed above 128 key length asymmetric cryptographic algorithm based on elliptic curve..."

    *

    This book cipher example (see below) requires a key (a number and a word.....for example "1234 bottle"). Why the interest in mathematics and prime numbers? The book in question has about half a million words.....so the number of permutations of the book is a number about two million decimals long....not two million permutations, but a MUCH larger number.

    *

    I know, I know....but book ciphers are cr*p!!! So please let other El Reg readers know what this cr*p cipher message actually says!

    *

    0F2w0kQC09d60ne80$9q0I6o1QjX1CtI0F4N01l3

    05DL1fQe0yxL1j$x07o$1msH1GZq0o9d19TD131m

    0pLU158102ye00Ga1NwQ1g4D1Yn11fu315WJ1kgp

    00m30zsE09W00dJi1Wvr0pyc0G7R12Pc0c0I1D8U

    09Dc18aW1Cma1ZJZ01oi07=X05Wl03Sx0FUt0LWs

    0i751IBV1Xgt1QZH1M190otm1Jnk0E4T1YHP0u0h

    0t9R1fUj1K9N0yDi0kfo1HVu0ytJ1UcO0Et21MS9

    1Hs914Pl0B670SiU12gs1AxZ1jFS1Fno1kRm0sLn

    1QIX11H70HAk0E0v1A$J0nzx1lYg18W6052D1TOO

    1Vmb0ZqL09yQ0lf70ImW021P0jry09qE0E8e1cR8

    0UwN1OEK0cc$1LNV0G3f0CU31bWD0jPt1FNV0kFX

    0mWi0S50

    *

    1. A. Coatsworth

      not entirely sure but I think it goes

      Damn, if you are the same AC that has been posting in this article, I want a taste of whatever you are smoking. It is clearly powerful stuff

  7. Blackjack Silver badge

    People still use fax machines?

    Most businesses I know replaced it with e-mail ages ago as faxes are not valid legal documents anyway.

    Plus all that paper and ink was expensive.

    1. keith_w

      Re: People still use fax machines?

      Doctors offices in Canada still use fax machines when communicating between themselves and other doctors or pharmacies.

      1. Blackjack Silver badge

        Re: People still use fax machines?

        Well in theory is safer than e-mail.

        In practice is quite easy to copy the signal using a computer and "print" the faxes in your computer,;digitaly.

        1. LovesTha

          Re: People still use fax machines?

          And in practice the faxes are being sent from PC's with a network connection to the printers/fax/copier. There really isn't any security.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: People still use fax machines?

          Well in theory is safer than e-mail.

          That is mainly because it's point to point, but fax signals could be decoded by phone intercept before the devices even came onto the market..

          1. Blackjack Silver badge

            Re: People still use fax machines?

            Yes, but there is no server making or storing copies of the faxes.

      2. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

        Re: People still use fax machines?

        Communications between medical professionals have their own unique problems.

    2. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

      Re: People still use fax machines?

      Yes. Particularly where the principle writing system is based on pictographs and/or very large character sets difficult to enter with keyboards.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That rare earth comment

    "The list does not, as feared, include any mention of rare earths. Such substances are essential for electronics manufacturing and China is the planet’s dominant source of the minerals. A ban would have made serious dents in global supply chains."

    Yes, China exports rare earth metals, but only in processed form, not as ore. The reason for that is simple: they're also running a nuclear reactor programme, and thorium is a happy byproduct of rare earth mining that was seen as waste before it was recognised as a very good reactor fuel..

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