Home Business IT Security US Cyber Command's code has been cracked

For those unfamiliar, a 'hash' is a computed summary of a longer piece of text.  For instance, this entire article could be hashed to a simple 32-byte hash which can be used to guarantee that the text is unchanged as modifying a single character in the text would yield a totally different hash.

The article from The Age infers the solution, without actually revealing it, noting that it is connected with the organisation's mission statement: "USCYBERCOM plans, coordinates, integrates, synchronizes and conducts activities to: direct the operations and defense of specified Department of Defense information networks and; prepare to, and when directed, conduct full spectrum military cyberspace operations in order to enable actions in all domains, ensure US/Allied freedom of action in cyberspace and deny the same to our adversaries."

In fact, using a reverse hash calculator we can easily determine that indeed the code is the MD5 hash of the mission statement.

This all suggests a couple of things.  That the new Cyber Command might actually know a thing or two about encryption techniques and also that they seem to have a mild sense of humour.


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David Heath

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David Heath has over 25 years experience in the IT industry, specializing particularly in customer support, security and computer networking. Heath has worked previously as head of IT for The Television Shopping Network, as the network and desktop manager for Armstrong Jones (a major funds management organization) and has consulted into various Australian federal government agencies (including the Department of Immigration and the Australian Bureau of Criminal Intelligence). He has also served on various state, national and international committees for Novell Users International; he was also the organising chairman for the 1994 Novell Users' Conference in Brisbane. Heath is currently employed as an Instructional Designer, building technical training courses for industrial process control systems.

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