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Showing posts from March, 2006

Plausible Denial

Every quarter of a year, worried postings appear about governments and law enforcement on the hard disk encryption mailing list I'm subscribed to. The solutions are different every time but the problem stays the same: "Rubberhose attacks". This term is an elegant description of the attack path that works without ever touching cryptography: torture. Torture involving a rubberhose is unlikely to occour in modern socities. Nonetheless, there are equally effective measures if needed. This fear gives rise to ideas like this: "The data should be destroyed when I type a special panic passphrase" or "store the hard disk encryption key on CD and break the CD when in trouble" or "stripe the partition of any sign of encryption header". They have the same goal: remove intention to torture the key owner. To save a bit of your time I take this shortcut: THEY ARE ALL BROKEN and to figure out why is left as an exercise to the reader. Instead, you need

ion-therp updated

I had troubles with improper window embedding in firefox, so I decided to upgrade my dusty private branch of ion to 20060305. Get it here: There are a few changes concerning XFT support. First, the separate draw engine code of xftde was merged back into the regular de. XFT is now a compile type option to configure (enabled by default) and about 40 #ifdefs embedded in the de/ source files. The consequence for you is that you do not have to rewrite your look configuration to refer to xftde. So, it's "de.defstyle" again, instead of the old "xftde.defstyle". This is pretty neat as XFT also understands X11 font specifiers and so your old configuration will work right out of the box, but now with proper XFT rendering beauty. To use XFT font specifier, prepend "xft:". For instance, "xft: Sans-10:weight=bold". Here is sample config using XFT font specifiers (using the "Sans&