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Re: [tor-talk] NSA supercomputer

> 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.

The US does now disclose the aggregate budgets for DoD, DHS, and
intel services under which NSA falls as a non line item. A search will
yield analyst estimates of the actual black amounts, etc. There's even
big wall posters for it all. No budget can exceed taxes plus international
revenues, various debt facilities and minus known expenses. It's not
Moonshot or war scale, nobody can afford that anymore without a
complete overhaul.

Yet a chip fab and unspottable underground facilities are entirely within
current means. To wit, The Mountain, Raven Rock, Utah DC, defuncts
such as Yucca, SSC, and so on. And implementing known attacks via
ASIC's where useful is common best practice these days.

It comes down to cost/benefit, business and rational guess. Figure out
where the state of the art lies (both commercial and estimates of advanced
black tech) for the budget, megawatts, floor space, die size, storage,
bandwidth, algorithms, attacks, hiring and education programs, history,
bit and clock efficiences, problems to solve, goals, etc. Within that answer
is where you will find the truth. At least as to capability, if not execution.
History shows there are always a few lucky gaping advances out there in
the world when compared to commercial tech. Whether the current ones
apply to anything people here care about is unknown. And unless you're
somehow an actor in that same high intrigue, you don't have anything to
worry about on an individual personal level [1] beyond the global and
national ramifications of it all.

[1] Any common criminal elements, what the dog ate for dinner, facebook,
etc. If you're trying to be the next WikiLeaks or political head, maybe
there's cause for worry? Maybe not? Tor tech is nice, being public has
it's advantages too.
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