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Re: [tor-talk] NSA supercomputer

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On 04/04/2013 04:25 PM, Christopher Walters wrote:

> As for the NSA, they closely guard how many supercomputers they
> have and how many they use for decryption.  However, if you are on
> their

In 1999 and 1998 the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (psc.edu) was
home to three Cray supercomputers (Mario (XMP), Jaromir (YMP), and an
unnamed third that they were beta testing for Cray at the time).  They
were heating the entire complex with the waste heat from those three
Crays, and still venting plenty of heated air to keep everything from
melting down (everything else they had in the data center, from x86
servers to a couple of VAXen acting as front ends, as I recall).  The
infrastructure for supercomputing is immense, and very visible in the
sense of taking up a lot of space as well as power requirements.
Those facilities would stick out a country mile, and should be fairly
easy to spot, leading to more focused speculation if nothing else.

I read in a couple of articles that No Such Agency has their own chip
foundry someplace.  It seems reasonable to wonder out loud if they do
not have ASIC attacks against some cryptosystems (does anyone else
remember Deep Crack?) implemented.  Perhaps all of the NSA's vaunted
supercomputing power takes the form of racks and racks of servers with
custom ASICs implementing those attacks instead of massively parallel
architectures of general purpose computers running software attacks.

- -- 
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