And Yet, It Transmits!
Ian Goldberg likes to state Kerckhoffs’ principle as “The security of a system shouldn’t rely on anything that’s hard to change.” So it is with deep amusement that I report on what’s probably one of the hardest to change systems out there. And I do mean out there: 23,222 km out there. Let me back up.
The Galileo satelite system is a European-funded alternative to the US Global Positioning System, driven to completion by US insistence that Uncle Sam may turn off or degrade the signals at will. In “Cracking the Secret Codes of Europe’s Galileo Satellite” we learn that certain bits of the system, designed to ensure that the signals had to be licensed, have been made non-secret. The web description of the system, how they did it, and the codes, are at http://gps.ece.cornell.edu/galileo/.
I bet that random number generator is hard to change.