Security of Information in Assumed Hostile Environments Using Assumed Compromised Technology

Presented at ToorCon San Diego 13 (2011), Oct. 9, 2011, 5:30 p.m. (20 minutes)

This lecture focuses on a Decartian approach to security assumptions with respect to communication and encryption. Technologies such as encryption and TOR aim to provide anonymity, integrity, and security for communication over hostile mediums such as the Internet, but they are prone to infiltration at a platform level, and they rely on the assumption that the encryption algorithms used are not compromised. Descartes was a philosopher who revolutionized thought in his works in the areas of philosophy of mind and theories of existence. Descartes threw all conventional and accepted knowledge out of the window and was left with a profound realization of "I think, therefore I am", breaking past uncertainty about assumptions with respect to existential knowledge. We hackers sometimes use a similar technique that we call "white-listing" with filtration technology. What is a hacker to do when platforms and algorithms are considered to be compromised? I will discuss my thoughts and partial solutions while praising a philosopher of ages past.


  • Paymon Yamini Sharif
    Paymon Yamini Sharif is a generalist hacker with an interest in ethics and next generation information warfare technologies. His work attempts to use an interdisciplinary approach from the perspective of a technologist to address socio-hacker and world security issues by drawing from the schools of philosophy, history, and psychology.