##### Security Month on DevCentral: Challenge #1

As we highlight security on DevCentral this month, we wanted to pose a fun security challenge to exercise those brain cells a little bit. Today's challenge focuses on cryptography. The object of this challenge is to figure out a plaintext message given some ciphertext and clues. The plaintext message for today's challenge was encrypted using a one-time-pad encryption method to generate the ciphertext. The pad is a series of letters that are formed from a unique message based on a DES Challenge from several years ago. These DES Challengeswere a series ofbrute force attackcontests created byRSA Securityto highlight the lack of security provided by theData Encryption Standard (DES). The object of these challenges was to find the encryption key and use it to decrypt the ciphertext into a plaintext message. The first challenge began in 1997 and was solved in 96 days by theDESCHALL Project. The next challenge, "DES Challenge II-1" was solved bydistributed.netin early 1998. Then, "DES Challenge II-2" was solved in July 1998. Finally, "DES Challenge III" was released and solved in January 1999. The pad for today's challenge is the plaintext message from the DES Challenge II-1. The plaintext message from the DES Challenge included a colon in the middle of the message and a period at the end, but the pad for today's challenge removes the colon and the period (i.e. removes all non-letter characters). Further, to get today's pad, you'll need to move all the letters to lowercase and also remove all spaces. For example, if the plaintext message from that challenge was, "Plaintext: Hello World." then the pad for today's challenge would be: plaintexthelloworld The ciphertext for today's challenge is: wlzuipkvtxvguky The challenge? Find the plaintext message. Get it? Got it? Go! Use the comments below to post the plaintext message, and feel free to tell us the method you used to solve the challenge!298Views0likes4Comments##### Lightboard Lessons: Crypto Offload

If you aren't encrypting all your web application traffic, then you soon will be. And, with all that encrypted traffic flowing to/from your web servers, you have the unenviable task of encrypting and decrypting it all. Well, you can overwhelm your web servers with the task of encrypting/decrypting everything, or you can let the BIG-IP do it all for you. Easy choice, right? If you're as awesome as I think you probably are, you are using BIG-IP for it's amazing SSL offload capabilities. But, did you know that you can now offload the expensive key exchange operations to an external network hardware crypto device? Imagine you have a bunch of stuff hosted in the cloud (and you love that), but you need some custom-built hardware support for all the computationally expensive crypto operations. You're gonna love crypto offload... Related Resources: The Top Ten Hardcore F5 Security Features in BIG-IP 11.6359Views0likes0Comments##### Lightboard Lessons: Elliptic Curve Cryptography

You've seen our Whiteboard Wednesday videos, but we are kicking it up a notch and introducing our new "Lightboard Lessons" video series. In this first video, John talks about the basics of Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC). ECC has been around for a while and it's gaining popularity as a viable alternative to RSA. But what exactly is ECC? And what are some of the key benefits it provides in protecting your web applications? Watch this video and find out! Resources BIG-IP Support for Elliptic Curve Cryptography Associating Multiple SSL Cert/Key Pair Types with an SSL Profile LogJams, DHE Parameters, and Other Obstacles to TLS Excellence Supporting Elliptic Curve Cryptography Stronger Keys and Faster Security with ECC We hope you enjoy this series of Lightboard Lessons, and stay tuned for many more exciting videos! Clarification: During my quick explanation of RSA, I said that two prime numbers are multiplied together to produce a really big prime number (at 2:20 - 2:25 in the video). As we all know, a prime number only has itself and 1 as factors. So, if you multiply two numbers together, the resultant number will at least have the two numbers you multiplied as factors…thus not making it prime. Technically speaking, the product of the two prime numbers in RSA is called a “semiprime” number because its only factors are 1, itself, and two prime numbers. Here’s a more detailed explanation of semiprimes: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semiprime For each RSA number "n", there exist prime numbers “p” and “q” such that n = p × q The problem is to find these two primes, given only n. The salient point for RSA is that “n” will always be semiprime. All that said, I should have said “a really big semiprime number” in the video, but I didn’t want to take up too much time discussing RSA since this video is targeted for ECC.1.5KViews0likes8Comments