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Date: 2000-08-14 (17:24)
From: Julian Assange <proff@i...>
Subject: call for ocaml volunteers

For some time now, our group has been working on a
cryptographically-deniable block storage device (aka Marutukku), on
which regular file-systems can be mounted, targeted at the
human/activist community. We expect to release a developers code set at
the Usenix Security Symposium in Denver next week.

This is like a regular encrypted disk except that it supports multiple
keys, where it is computationally infeasible given some of those keys
to show that there are more keys, or that particular blocks of data
are being used to store something other than unallocated space. Even
for the legitimate user.

This mitigates against coercive interrogations and legal compulsion.
Only "safe" information need be revealed. It isn't possible to show
that additional information exists. Nor is it possible for the subject
of a coercive demand to show that they have revealed all
information. Thus a rational coercer can never demand proof of full
co-operation, as its provision is computationally infeasible.

We have assorted kernel modules for Linux, NetBSD and FreeBSD. Although
these modules are designed to abstract away OS primitives and provide
a fast kernel<->userland messaging layer so the effort involved in
porting to other operating systems is minimised.

However there are ways to protect against coercive interrogations that
can be layered on top of cryptographic deniability and this is where
Ocaml comes in. Keying schemes can be chosen that have beneficial
psychological or psychological properties. These novel keying schemes
are often graphical in nature and so Ocaml's ability to produce simple
portable stand-alone graphics executables are spot on.

At the moment we have a passphrase-based keying feeding into a
sophisticated key set up routine (that enforces 1 second of original
cpu time per attempted key). However, passphrase based keying is
non-optimal under many circumstances that the target group (human
rights workers) might encounter, because passphrases can be quickly
conveyed by speech or writing. That is:

	1) Interrogations can take place in room101 and not the computer
	   room. It's nicer, particularly given the frequency of
	   equatorial despotism to be tortured in the
	   computer room.

	2) Revealing a passphrase only requires (some of) the brain and
	   jaw or hand to be left functional.

	3) Revealing a passphrase is quick and requires few higher
	   cognitive functions, thus it is vulnerable to peak pain,
	   hallucinogens and `truth drugs' such as schopolomine.

	4) A single observation of a passphrase is enough grasp the
	   whole keying state. Keyboard sniffers are cheap and in
	   Australia at least, video bugging is not uncommon.

A good keying system prevents revealing of the key, placing the
subject of interrogation in a hostile environment (i.e not the
computer room), damage to as many parts of the subject's body as
possible, retardation of the subjects mental faculties and retardation
of the subject's free will. The keying system should also be practical
enough to be used and adopted by real life people, and not require
expensive or hard to find hardware.

Where a group of co-operating individuals is concerned, keying schemes
should discourage defection against the group of individuals being
coersively interrogated. Marutukku cryptographic deniability
discourages defection due to the subject's inability to show that they
have fully compiled with the interrogation (thus the incentive to
defect, or at least defect completely, is minimised), but perhaps
novel keying schemes can augment this.

It is important to understand that maru requires keying and not
authentication. However any authentication method can be turned into
a keying method, provided sufficient information for the authentication
isn't held on the "server". For an example, maru could issue n challenges,
each of which which the user's authentication algorithm authenticates
or fails to authenticate; the hash of the concatenated authenticated
challenges then forms the key. However schemes like this require n to be
>=48, which seems practical only for automated methods, or combined
with another method which presents more bits of key entropy per iteration.

Some possible alternatives to passphrase based keying (we have some more
notes on these ideas, but no code or concrete design documentation):

	1) interactive transposition matrixes. This is a simple method
	   to prevent keyboard immediate keyboard sniffing. The user
	   keeps their passphrase in their head, and a for each letter
	   a transposition matrix is displayed on the screen.

	2) Maze walking. A maze with several "landmarks" is drawn on
	   the screen. The user must "visit" and move past these landmarks in a
	   particular order and direction.
	3) Enhanced face recognition. Several arrays of faces are displayed.
	   The user must choose the numbers next to each face, perform a
	   simple mathematical operation on them and input the number.

	4) Constraint/simile problems. The user is presented with several
	   secret knowledge problems of A is to B as C is to in different
	   forms which test areas of cognitive function and or visual function
	   which would be affected by drugs or severe pain.

	5) Grid drawing. The user draws shapes within a n x n matrix. The direction
	   of boundary crossing forms the key. For a similar idea, see
	   "Graphical Passwords", a paper presented at last years usenix
	   security symposium.

	6) Colour contrast discrimination. It has been shown that individuals see
	   slightly different hues due to visual cortex and cone cell / retina
	   retina variation. It maybe possible to design moire or 
	   other tests on 24 bit displays which are recognisable by
	   one party but not another. Just hope no-one runs a magnet
	   over your monitor :)

	7) Forward Error Correction based biometric keying. Traditionally
	   signature and individual biometric variation tests have failed to
	   provide good alternatives for keying, for two reasons. 1) the
	   bio-authorisation template is "secret", hence useless for something
	   like marutukku, where *all* secrecy is derived from the key. 2)
	   quantitisation by the template of the inherent analog variability in
	   the biological source in order to match with the template dramatically
	   reduces the keyspace. A FEC based approach may resolve these issues. 

Our current designs for plugable keying mechanims, simply introduce saved
state on stdin and expect output state (which is subsequently hashed
to form the key) on stdout.

What follows is a proto-type of 5.

As novel keying methods are an intresting problem that requires
lateral thinking rather than specialist cryptographic expertise, I
thought it may be of interest to ocaml coders in general.

(* keygrid (c) 2000 Julian Assange <> *)

open Graphics
open Pervasives

let win_x = 400
let win_y = 300
let pi = 3.1415926951
let divisions = 6
let fdivisions = float_of_int divisions
let sub_xy (x,y) (x',y') = (x -. x', y -. y')
let scale x s = int_of_float(x *. (float_of_int s))
let scale_xy (x,y) = (scale x win_x), (scale y win_y)
let rscale x s = (float_of_int x) /. (float_of_int s)
let rscale_xy (x,y) = (rscale x win_x), (rscale y win_y)
let cell_of_xy (x,y) = int_of_float (x*. fdivisions +. (floor (y *. fdivisions)) *. fdivisions )
let xy_of_cell cell =
  ((float_of_int (cell mod divisions)) /. fdivisions),
  ((float_of_int (cell / divisions)) /. fdivisions)
let openwin () = open_graph (":0 " ^ string_of_int win_x ^ "x" ^ string_of_int win_y)
let line xy0 xy1 =
  let (x0',y0') = scale_xy xy0
  and (x1',y1') = scale_xy xy1 in
  Graphics.moveto x0' y0';
  Graphics.lineto x1' y1'

let drawgrid () =
  let f x = (float_of_int x) /. (float_of_int divisions) in
  for n = 1 to divisions do
    line (0.0,(f n)) (1.0,(f n));
    line ((f n),0.0) ((f n),1.0)

exception Restart

let vectorise (x0,y0) (x1,y1) =
  let len = sqrt ((sqr (x0 -. x1)) +. (sqr (y0 -. y1))) in
  let angle = pi /. 2.0 +. asin ((x0 -. x1) /. len) in
    (angle, len)

let rec bordercross xy stat =
  let mstatus = Graphics.wait_next_event [Mouse_motion; Button_down; Button_up; Key_pressed] in
  let stat' = if Graphics.button_down() then `Following else `NotFollowing in
  let xy' = rscale_xy (mstatus.mouse_x, mstatus.mouse_y) in
    if mstatus.keypressed then
      if mstatus.key = ' ' then
	raise Restart 
      let cell = cell_of_xy xy in
	if stat = `Following then
	  let cell' = cell_of_xy xy' in
	    line xy xy';
	    if cell != cell' or stat' = `NotFollowing then
	      let (theta, len) = vectorise (xy_of_cell cell) (xy_of_cell cell') in
		 (cell,cell') :: bordercross xy' stat'
	      bordercross xy' stat'
	  bordercross xy' stat'

let rec print_xovers = function
  | [] -> []
  | (a,b)::tl ->
      print_string ((string_of_int a) ^ "->" ^ (string_of_int b) ^ " ");
      print_xovers tl

let main () =
  let rec loop() = 
    Graphics.set_color (rgb 0 0 200);
    Graphics.set_color (rgb 200 0 0);
    Graphics.moveto 8 15;
    Graphics.draw_string "Draw secret. Press return when complete, or space to start over.";
    Graphics.set_color (rgb 0 0 0);
    try bordercross (0.0,0.0) `NotFollowing
    with Restart -> loop()
  let xovers = loop() in
  let xovers' =  List.stable_sort (fun (a0,a1) (b0,b1) -> a1 - b1) xovers in
  let xovers'' = List.stable_sort (fun (a0,a1) (b0,b1) -> a0 - b0) xovers' in
    print_xovers xovers''