You have to love media/gov marketing/hype/voodoo/FUD. In the article they state: "heavily encrypted
" laptop ... Followed by: "containing a "massive quantity of stolen financial account data,
" How would they know there is a massive quantity of stolen anything unless 1) They decrypted it 2) They're using FUD
I use TrueCrypt and in the event I were to become arrested, I wouldn't disclose any information on how to decrypt anything. That is for my lawyer to sort out. I have ZERO
to hide yet in this situation, the news report would be the same: "Hacker with encrypted laptop containing...
" Containing what? How can they make statements like this. While I in no way am defending this guy, its deplorable that in this country, it's supposed to be "innocent until proven guilty."
As for decrypting data, applying a targeted bruteforce might yield them the password to decrypt it. Don't be fooled by the hype of cluebie news reporters. For example: If I create a 4096 bit RSA key for PGP to encrypt data, sure its beyond decryption. However, if my password is/was "scoobydoo", a bruteforce attack against that would decrypt it in minutes (if not seconds).
True story, take it with a grain of salt... "So a hacker gets arrested, in his possession are an OpenBSD laptop, and when questioned by the feds: 'Do you know Unix?', he responds sure I do, know it like the back of my hand..." On trial the hackers answer was explained/became:
DA to Special Agent: "And what did Mr. Smith tell you when asked of his Unix experience?"
SA on stand: "With a smirk he gleefully boasted how well he knew Unix"
DA to Special Agent: "Was there anything out of the ordinary on his laptop?"
SA on stand: "Very strong encryption programs..."
Very strong encryption programs... Never knew it would be illegal to have strong encryption programs (it isn't illegal by the way). This continued and after a whole shellacking of twisting and distorting things... An innocent man went to prison. That's a grain of salt for you. So when I make statements like: "I wouldn't give them squat" (passwords) its for a very valid reason. Rule of thumb: You have the right to remain silent... This isn't a crime, nor is withholding your password until you speak with your lawyer. If I were this guys attorney, I'd have a field day with the press who obviously convicted him without allowing him to stand trial