Thursday, June 15, 2006

It must be an omen

The code that came up on my secureID token earlier today when I was logging in to my VPN bears comment.

For those of you who don't know what that is, let me explain. A SecureID token is effectively a number generator. Each token has a unique seed number, a clock, and chip which processes those two through an algorithm to come up with a number.

A server back at the office has a copy of that same number, and a record of your tokens clock synchronizations so that it can generate the exact same number at the exact same time as your token.

That number is called a tokencode, and it can be up to 8 digits long; is only good for between 30 seconds, and a few hours (usually 1-3 minutes); and must be combined with an alphanumeric pin which can be as long (or logner) than the token code.

It's effectively a one time pad system for passwords, and it is extremely secure
Note: for you crypto geeks, yes I know I'm oversimplifying. Believe me you do not want to compare your internet crypto ween to mine. Unless you are PRZ, Tim May, Len Sassaman, Bruce Schneier, Ron Rivest, Adi Shamir, Len Adelman, Whit Diffie (who finally got a decent haircut BTW), Martie Hellman or you are currently working for GCHQ or NoSuch, mine is probably bigger - Oh wait, Zane McCarthys is about the same size.
Anyway, that's neither here nor their as to why the token code was interesting; just an explanation for what it is.

So I'm about to write a post about the recent report that 5.56n is "adequate" for combat use, but I have to log in to the work VPN to check my mail, and the token code comes up as:

wait for it...

We now return you to our regular scheduled ranting.

UPDATE: Holy crap, and I did not manipulate this, I originally posted this entry at 3:08 pm MWAHAHAHAHAHA