German Gov Is Able To Decrypt PGP And SSH

By Achim Sawall

The federal government declared that its intelligence agencies generally are able, to decrypt PGP and Secure Shell, at least in part. Used for monitoring applications would be the German company Utimaco, and Ipoque Trovicor to report members of the Bundestag. But the statements are vague and the PGP encryption is not mathematically decoded.

The federal government claims that the German intelligence services were able to decrypt PGP. This is clear from the response (PDF) to a parliamentary question by members of the small party left the show.

In April 2012 was reported that German intelligence in 2010, claims to be the contents of more than 37 million e-mails are scanned for 16 400 search terms.This resulted in a report by the Parliamentary Control Panel (PKG), a committee of the Bundestag for the monitoring of the secret intelligence agencies, the Federal Intelligence Service and Military Counterintelligence Service (MAD), the Bild newspaper reported first. The services must sift through the electronic data traffic including in the context of counterterrorism. The same applies to the Customs Office (CCC), also has the appropriate powers of intelligence.

One of the questions by Andrej Hunko, Jan Korte and others, was: “Is the technology used to decipher in a position to encrypted communications (such as SSH or PGP) to at least partially and / or evaluate?”

“Federal government further fueling suspicion”

The response of the federal government is: “Yes, the technology used is basically able to do so, depending on the type and quality of the encryption.”

Strong encryption with PGP is considered safe if it is not an attacker manages to steal the secret private key, which has only the recipient and his or her password. Korte said: . “The response from the federal government further fueling suspicion about using secure communications techniques” It Utimaco applications of the German firms, or Ipoque Trovicor would be used to penetrate deep into the most private communications.

The extent of electronic surveillance by German intelligence was probably much greater than previously thought. “For the four providers are to the Federal Intelligence Service to the complete transfer of all data required” , explained Korte and Hunko.

Essential information about the e-mail monitoring would be deposited in the secret place of the Bundestag and protection thus removed from the public discussion. MPs should not let the secret information rate by Internet activists, civil rights activists and lawyers who criticize the questioner.