Home page logo

isn logo Information Security News mailing list archives

Red October crypto app adopts "two-man rule" used to launch nukes
From: InfoSec News <alerts () infosecnews org>
Date: Tue, 26 Nov 2013 06:47:21 +0000 (UTC)


By Dan Goodin
Ars Technica
Nov 25 2013

Engineers at content delivery network CloudFlare have released open source encryption software that's designed to prevent rogue employees from accessing sensitive information by decrypting data only when two or more people provide keys.

The open source software combines known cryptographic protections with the so-called "two-man rule," which militaries have relied on for decades to prevent the accidental or unauthorized launching of nuclear weapons. Just as armaments of mass destruction can be unleashed only when two authorized service members turn their unique keys at the same time, the data encrypted by the CloudFlare tool can be unlocked only when two or more employees provide passwords that briefly unlock their private cryptographic keys. The software has been dubbed "Red October," a nod to a key scene in the Tom Clancy novel and movie The Hunt for Red October.

The aim of Red October is to fuse trusted cryptographic algorithms with a front-end programming interface that makes them work only when keys possessed by multiple people are presented. It assigns each user a randomly generated 2048-bit RSA key pair. Each user's private key is then encrypted using a separate key based on the 128-bit AES algorithm and a user-chosen password that is cryptographically salted and then stored as a cryptographic hash using the scrypt key derivation function.

In a blog post, CloudFlare engineers explained:


Dean Bushmiller teaches a great 5-Day CISM in Albany NY Dec. 2  6.
Call 327-937-9786 for details.

  By Date           By Thread  

Current thread:
  • Red October crypto app adopts "two-man rule" used to launch nukes InfoSec News (Nov 26)
[ Nmap | Sec Tools | Mailing Lists | Site News | About/Contact | Advertising | Privacy ]