Black-bag cryptanalysis

In cryptography, black-bag cryptanalysis is a euphemism for the acquisition of cryptographic secrets via burglary, or the covert installation of keystroke logging or trojan horse software/hardware on target computers or ancillary devices. Such methods are intended to capture highly sensitive information e.g. cryptographic keys, key-rings, passwords or unencrypted plaintext. Typically, the capture takes place without the victim(s) realising it has occurred. Black-bag cryptanalysis is in contrast to a mathematical or technical cryptanalytic attack. The term refers to the black bag of equipment that a burglar would carry or a Black Bag Operation.

As with rubber-hose cryptanalysis, this is technically not a form of cryptanalysis; the term is used sardonically. However, given the free availability of very high strength cryptographic systems, this type of attack is a much more serious threat to most users than mathematical attacks.

Popular culture

Black bag cryptanalysis is the underlying theme of video game Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell and its sequels.

See also

Search another word or see black-bagon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature