Crypto War II: Weakening the Infrastructure

Location: Berry Room, Nutter Center

Date/Time: March 20, 2018 / 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Our March meeting will be an InfraGard members only event.

It will be held at Wright State University’s Nutter Center Berry Room.
Registration begins at 2:30. Meeting from 3 to 5pm.
Please RSVP to infragard_info [at] wright [dot] edu.

Our presentation will be by C. Matthew Curtin, CISSP.

Security is fundamentally a product of two variables: the frequency of attack and the impact of attack. Federal government policy both in the original Crypto Wars of the 1990s and again twenty years later has been to reduce the frequency of attack. The strategy has been to improve the ability to monitor potential attackers, to predict attacks, and to prevent them from taking place. Promulgation of this strategy has resulted in DOJ officials making true-but-misleading statements to Congress, sabotage of Internet standards for cryptography, and ultimately systems that are vulnerable to snooping by attackers including foreign intelligence services. The President of the United States and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom have advocated that governments should have access to encrypted data. Curtin believes that this approach will weaken the infrastructure of the United States, making our institutions and our citizens more vulnerable to enemies foreign and domestic.

In this talk Curtin proposes a superior approach that puts American resources, public and private, on the same team in reducing the impact of attack. He advocates the hardening of targets, recognizing that attacks will come, but will not succeed when good defenses are in place. Such defenses include the encryption of data in the Cloud and the use of tools and techniques that harden targets against monitoring, even by government agents. The talk will be delivered by security and cryptography expert C. Matthew Curtin, a coordinator of the DESCHALL project that in 1997 cracked a message encrypted with the government standard DES for the first time in open research. The project’s success immediately changed the debate in Congress, a change in executive policy regarding the export of strong cryptography, and the adoption of a replacement for the now-defunct DES.


C. Matthew Curtin is a computer scientist and cybersecurity expert. He leads Interhack’s professional practice, addressing matters such as data breaches, intellectual property protection, computer crime, and use of data in litigation. Curtin has been engaged in criminal, civil, administrative, and military processes for both those bringing and defending actions, as well as for the court directly. His opinion has been accepted by federal and state courts throughout the country in hearings, trials, and in appeals. Curtin has held an academic post as Senior Lecturer at The Ohio State University’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering, and has guest lectured for the Privacy Foundation at the University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law, Otterbein College, Franklin University, the Keller Graduate School of Management at DeVry University, and the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University.

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