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R9B understands the cognitive aspects of cyber operations. Our curriculum provides the hands-on technical skills students require to attain a variety of advanced cybersecurity qualifications. We instill the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for our students to defeat the adversary. Below are our available courses. Please check back often as our course offerings are updated regularly. Government organizations, please contact R9B directly via training@root9B.com for pricing and purchasing information.
Are you a consumer who wants to make sure your personal data really is secure?
Are you a developer who wants to secure data in a new app or other piece of software?
Do you have an idea for a new kind of super-strong encryption you want to roll out?
Are you thinking about shipping a product and calling it “unbreakable”?
Are you involved in contracting or acquisitions and wonder how to evaluate an encryption product?
Or are you just curious how modern computer systems keep your data secret?
If you answered “yes” to any of these, then you’re in luck! This blog series will address each of these scenarios and more. Over the course of the next few months, you can look forward to learning and exploring:
“Crypto” is most commonly used in the tech world to refer to cryptology, and when it does, it most commonly refers to cryptography. What are those? Glad you asked. Cryptology is the study of making ciphers (cryptography) and breaking them (cryptanalysis). A cipher is an algorithm, or series of steps, to transform a message (plaintext) into a form that cannot be easily read (ciphertext), called encryption, and then a series of steps to transform it back, called decryption. Normally to encrypt or decrypt requires a key.
Sometimes people use crypto to refer to cryptocurrencies. That’s not the focus of these posts.
Most of the time cryptography seeks to protect the content of messages from being learned by eavesdroppers who may see the messages (for example, a classic wiretap for phone lines or its digital equivalent, the span port packet sniffer). You may also want to prevent someone who stole your laptop from reading the files on the hard drive. These are examples of “threat models” – quick descriptions of capabilities and goals of an attacker that you want to be secure against. There are various common threat models that frequently come up:
Defenses against some of these threat models, especially evil maid and the like, often has little to do with selection of cryptographic protocols and algorithms. For example, one of the best defenses against an evil maid is to use a web-connected camera that will alert you if anyone does come near the device. While many of these kinds of details are interesting, this post series will concentrate on the attacks and defenses not requiring physical access. Likewise, if an attacker can get their malware installed with sufficient privileges on the systems that are being used to enter or read the messages, they will be able to obtain the secret messages before or after they are encrypted. Defending against these kinds of attacks is also a significant concern, but not the primary objective of this series.
Instead, this series will focus on:
How to encrypt data with a secret key and how the algorithms that do that are used in different settings
Next: What is Crypto? Part 2: Secret Keys
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Matthew Weeks has extensive experience in cyber operations, as well as security research and software development He currently leads root9B’s research and development arm. Previously, he was the Officer In Charge of the US Air Force’s Intrusion Forensics and Reverse Engineering lab, a lead network defense tactician, and led the creation of the Air Force’s Defensive Counter Cyber forces, tactics, and mission. As a researcher, he has uncovered vulnerabilities found to have affected millions of networks. As a developer, he has placed in the top- ‐tier internationally in programming competitions and was the developer behind a significant portion of the Metasploit framework, the world’s most widely used vulnerability assessment suite. His work has been featured on CNN and in numerous national publications.
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