TrustLeap FAQ

Only genuine ignorance can be cured.

Everyone has the right to respect for his private life, home and correspondence, and protection against telephone tapping, collection of private information by a State's security services.
European Convention on Human Rights, Article 8

  1   What certifications do you support?

In today's international regulatory environment, compliance is a mandatory requirement. As TrustLeap online services use a certified TLS (Transport Layer Security) implementation, its users comply with the FIPS 140-2 (US Federal Information Processing Standard) certification used worldwide by banks and governments.

To make standard encryption provably-safe against unlimited computing power, TrustLeap goes a step further, using mathematically-proven methods to secure the NIST (US National Institute of Standards and Technology) approved standards (like AES) enforced worldwide by international agreements.

  2   Benefits for Users, Cloud vendors, hosting companies and Telcos?

Cloud and hosting offers are often discarded on concerns of data confidentiality and safety. Avoiding US Clouds does not protect against the US Patriot Act (data seizures without court oversight). Other governments also access users' data, either on their own or in response to US MLAT (Mutual Legal Assistance Treaties) requests.

With TrustLeap's FIPS compliant and provably-safe data, Cloud providers (as well as Telecom operators) can satisfy government requests without ever compromising end-user data. All "passive" Cloud services (i.e.: without data processing) like storage, database, or emails, remain unreadable for all but the data owners.

  3   Benefits for other users and industries? (aeronautics, automotive, surgery, etc.)

In an ever increasingly connected world, satellites, robots and drones are only useful if their owners can make sure that their toys remain theirs instead of serving the interest of third-parties (vendor conflict of interests, pressure from government agencies, hacks by foreign states or criminal organizations, etc.).

Driverless car sales will take-off the day people can make sure their car won't crash on a wall at full-speed after receiving wrong GPS coordinates or a kill-switch order, just because that may have been seen as a prompt way to resolve the pension-funds crisis, unemployment, commercial, judicial, racial, or social conflicts.

The common good can also benefit from certainty: e-voting, official archives or medical records come to mind.

  4   Benefits of true security for the economy, democracy and justice?

Today's security is entirely based on trust. Trust that software and hardware do not have backdoors, trust that vendors act in the interest of users, trust that governments and academia do their best at protecting us.

Recent events have illustrated how difficult it is for the security agencies to maintain conflicting goals: being in charge of attacking and defending at the same time necessarily leads to betraying the supposedly served citizen.

Here also, TrustLeap can help by guarantying the security of all parties – without requiring anybody's trust.

  5   Can I use TrustLeap Legally?

Yes: TrustLeap allows everyone to be both compliant (with the US regulatory constraints) and provably-safe (by securing the US FIPS-approved encryption standards through mathematically-proven tools). As a result, TrustLeap is just a fully-compliant SaaS / PaaS, like Amazon or Google from the US or Alibaba from China.

In contrast, custom cryptography must follow the Wassenaar agreement applicable to most crypto players. In short, private use is free while selling and exporting crypto is regulated (China and Russia have further rules). Government officials and foreign entrepreneurs are normally not tied to national rules.

  6   Can TrustLeap support Key-recovery?

Yes, if needed. It is trivial to add key-recovery to cryptosystems, and this feature may be needed for the supervision of the members within an organization, as well as to keep activity logs for obvious security reasons (like determining if the service is abused from within the authorized group or, even worse, by a trusted administrator).

The advantage of using provably-safe encryption for key-recovery is that only the expected supervisors will be able to do this task: here, the feature will not act as a backdoor opened to anyone able to break NIST standards.

  7   Does TrustLeap support PKI?

Yes. Our post-quantum security relies on both public-key and symmetric-key encryption for authentication, confidentiality and integrity.

As TrustLeap's public-key is provably-secure, end-users' devices can generate their own keys and benefit from PKI's convenience for large groups.

  8   How Proven Is TrustLeap?

In 2007-2008, several Defense contractors as well as civilian and military government agencies have tested TrustLeap's security (without TLS). Their plaintext attacks were unsuccessful and they recognized that they did not have access to such a technology. These tests can be done by all now: we give access to a cryptographic oracle to qualified users.

TrustLeap is as safe as mathematically-proven unbreakable encryption can be: if you don't give away your passphrase (it does not have to be cryptographically safe, and can be made from 2/3-factor identifiers) then TrustLeap will protect your data forever. We are glad to demonstrate the contrary – and we can do so without disclosing how it works.

  9   What does "Mathematically-Proven" mean?

For Academia (and government certifications), it means that a specific algorithm was actually... used. It tells nothing about its security. Therefore, standard encryption depends on unproven assumptions about computational limits like: "no publicly available computer (or algorithm) is fast enough to break this". Little wonder why those standards are routinely broken.

For the rest of us, "mathematically-proven" means that TrustLeap is secure even against unlimited computing power. Tools based on a mathematical demonstration are used to remove the patterns that let people attack encrypted data. This makes our systems cryptanalytically unbreakable, for everyone, and forever.

  10   Is "Unbreakable" Really Possible?

Yes. Seventy (70) years ago, unbreakable encryption was used for the most secret governmental and military communications between the USSR and the USA. Later, some have tried to use pseudo-random number generators, metamorph algorithms or heavy re-keying to replace diplomatic cases, but, relying on security-by-obscurity (security based on mere computational hardness assumptions), these techniques are not provably safe, and have often been broken.

TWD's contribution to this field was to mathematically demonstrate that the same level of security reached by governments in the Cold War is available without the historic impracticalities and implementation errors.

  11   What about Quantum Computers?

Quantum Computers (in use by the NSA since 1990) instantly find the result of an algorithm without having to run it. These capabilities clearly disqualify the use of complexity levels for security claims.

TrustLeap is the only 128 or 256-bit symmetric-key cryptographic technology that has been mathematically proven as safe against Quantum Computers. As key and plaintext patterns are removed from encrypted data, breaking TrustLeap will never be possible (whatever the time or resources thrown at the task) because there is nothing left that can be broken. TrustLeap is unique in the fact that it will never be obsolete.

  12   What about Quantum Encryption?

As "Quantum encryption" requires physically protected fiber networks and low noise levels to stay (theoretically) secure. It is used for short-distance (< 100 km) key distribution (QKD). The actual encryption is done on regular networks by encryption standards like AES.

But even if Quantum encryption (QE) was used one day on public networks to actually encrypt data, it is based on theorical laws of physics rather than on plain maths. Unlike TrustLeap's provably-safe encryption QE's security depends on the lack of publicly known principles of physics (and implementation bias) able to defeat it. This gap naturally shrinks as time goes so Quantum encryption cannot, by nature, be considered as "provably unbreakable".

What do we need that we currently lack?   Security.   Being "compliant" is not enough: we also need to be provably-safe.

First, let's recall why security matters – even for the "ordinary people" (in the USA and elsewhere):

As your mails, medical history, bank account, fiscal declarations and business all rely on SSL (broken in realtime), anybody – including mafias, competitors or jealous people – can destroy your life in total impunity. Further, democracies are based on a contract where citizens elect their government. The by-design defects of the SSL/TLS standards make it possible to alter (or fake) enough votes to break this contract.

These holes can easily be closed by using security that nobody can break. But as long as our governments don't replace SSL by provably-safe security, you are on our own. Either you protect yourself or you accept being a target.

People often state "I don't care if they spy on me". This is because they feel they have nothing of value that can be stolen.

Actually, they can be jailed for the crimes of others taking advantage of the vulnerabilities present in our infrastructure. A business, office or love rival can surreptitiously copy underage nude photos on his computer before denouncing him as a pervert. Politicians see past actions resurfacing at the worse moment.

These are just examples of what can go wrong. And, according to the security leaders, things massively go wrong... despite the ample deployment of best-of-breed security products.

There's only one single way to prevent treachery: forever unbreakable security.

Revisiting "Standard" Security

As the Pentagon's data is stolen despite best-effort and compliance, the need for safety is real and substantial. But things are rarely what they look like on the surface. Claiming that "responsible encryption can only discuss levels of security" or that "certification XYZ is mandatory under the law", is raising the question of what can be trusted.

Bruce Schneier told Forbes in "The Vulnerabilities Market and the Future of Security":

"A variety of government agencies around the world have a strong interest in vulnerabilities remaining unpatched. These range from law-enforcement agencies (like the FBI and the German police who are trying to build targeted Internet surveillance tools), to intelligence agencies like the NSA who are trying to build mass Internet surveillance tools, to military organizations who are trying to build cyber-weapons."

That explains the constant stream of software vulnerabilities: after decades of use, it should be bug-free. But the opposite is observed: the older and most widely used software is, the more it seems capable of generating new security holes.

But, if software is purposely made vulnerable for the sake of watching everyone, all the time and everywhere, then encryption is certainly a much stronger obstacle to systemic spying than mere backdoor-free software.

Unsurprisingly, the same forces which preserve vulnerabilities could as well decide which crypto experts are financed to write books, give conferences, create companies, and grow in influence and in responsibilities – in universities and governments:

Adopters of the latest NIST-approved (and then repudiated following Snowden's NSA leaks) NSA-backdoored random-numbers generator (used to make encryption keys):

  • RSA Security, Inc.
  • RSA, The Security Division of EMC
  • Cisco Systems, Inc.
  • Symantec Corporation
  • McAfee, Inc.
  • OpenSSL Software Foundation, Inc.
  • Microsoft Corporation
  • GE Healthcare
  • Research in Motion
  • BlackBerry
  • Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd
  • Juniper Networks
  • SafeNet, Inc.
  • Thales e-Security
  • Certicom Corp.
  • OpenPeak, Inc
  • Riverbed Technology, Inc.
  • Cummings Engineering Consultants, Inc.
  • CoCo Communications
  • SafeLogic Inc.
  • Kony, Inc.
  • Lancope, Inc.
  • Mocana Corporation
  • Panzura, Inc.
  • Catbird Networks, Inc.
  • ARX (Algorithmic Research)

The open-source "trusted security" is also funded by the NSA:

OpenSSL (used in Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Solaris, BSD, OpenVMS, IBM OS/400, hypervisors, etc.) is used by most security devices like smartcards, firewalls, VPNs, and to generate the SSL certificates used to "secure" Web sites.

The NSA has backdoored OpenSSL to access all these devices remotely like if they were authorized users.

The OpenSSL backdoors also let them to penetrate all "SSL-protected" applications (e-mail, e-voting, e-gov, e-banking, e-commerce, medical records, CRM, etc.) and all the remote administration consoles (firewalls, hosted servers, domain registrars, etc.).

The freely available OpenSSL FIPS 140-2 compliant distribution makes it a financially-attractive choice for many applications (certification is both uncertain, expensive, and must be repeated for each binary release!).

This OpenSSL backdoored random numbers generator lets government spies (but also criminal organizations) pre-calculate all the encryption keys generated by the users of those "SSL-secured" certificates, applications and devices.

As a result, any data accessible via SSL should be considered compromised – not only by the NSA – but also by anyone able to exploit these well-known backdoors.

Dual_EC_DRBG became an international standard because of the NSA insisted for it to be endorsed by the US ANSI, despite a... 2005 patent explaining how to exploit the flaw.

Why should "trusted security" vendors keep using it in their security products if its flaws were patented in 2005 as a way to helping spy agencies to calculate all end-users' encryption keys in advance?

Moral legitimacy is a strong argument, when it can be used. To last, Governments should seek ways to build a reputation deserved by enforcing sane systems rather than relying on deceptive hidden policies.

Global-WAN provides a way for governments to protect our infrastructure without compromising the security of its citizens.

The  (Key_space / Equally_plausible_solutions)  Ratio

Brute-force attacks consist in trying all the possible keys. With today's ciphers, this inevitably leads to finding the plaintext because key and plaintext patterns found in ciphertexts lead to one single plausible solution.

This is a well-known by-design issue:

Anyone attempting to produce random numbers by purely arithmetic means is, of course, in a state of sin.
John Von Neumann (1903-1957)

As a result, "modern" cryptography (all the algorithms used today, either standard or custom) is provably unsafe.

The security claim of modern encryption is that, given the size of the key space, trying all the keys will take a very long time, making such an attack "infeasible". That's only true for the ones using publicly available computers and cryptographic attacks. Most don't know what parts of the key space are actually addressed by each algorithm, and how to use the patterns left in ciphertexts to reduce the searchable domain even further, when vulnerabilities don't simply defeat the security1,2,3.

Our modern cryptographic standards have adopted an arbitrarily chosen design which is now a legal requirement worldwide.

The fact that brute-force attacks are merely possible demonstrates that the crypto standards are provably insecure. Without these standards being vulnerable, cryptanalysis, an heavily funded activity, would not exist. Nor would exist the recurring need for new "better" encryption algorithms and enlarged encryption keys.

Beyond Shannon's unicity distance, modern encryption is provably unsafe. It is difficult to believe that 70-year old science has not reached these academics, officials and vendors who maintain the myth of "strong security", until you see that these same "trusted experts" have also denied for decades the idea that the NSA could:

  • "resort to covert measures to ensure control over setting of international encryption standards"
  • "collaborate with technology companies to insert backdoors into commercial encryption software".

Why bother to cheat if not to provide fake security?

This should not be a surprise as the mission of the NSA was clearly defined:

Future superpowers will be made or broken based on the strength of their cryptanalytic programs.
US National Security Agency (NSA)

In contrast, with TrustLeap, keys are provably-safe – whatever their length (they may even be cryptographically unsafe). We can use much smaller keys and stay provably-secure but, to preserve the compatibility that grants users the required legal "compliance", we keep using 128-bit or 256-bit key lengths.

And we dare to think that exposing one's critical infrastructure to ubiquitous vulnerabilities is a bad idea. Being compliant does not imply being vulnerable. It's impossible to maintain order on a minefield.

How TrustLeap Works

TrustLeap is not an encryption algorithm. It cannot efficiently process most raw plaintexts because their redundancy and pattern rates are much too high. TrustLeap is a filter used to post-process ciphers (either on-the-fly, one byte at a time for streamciphers, block by block for blockciphers, or as a final pass applied on a completed ciphertext).

As the TrustLeap filter's memory and computational overhead is very low (and works equally well with very safe or very unsafe cryptography), it is usable on high-concurrency server applications as well as on embedded systems, such as the "Internet of Things".

TrustLeap protects the encryption standards by removing the leaked key and data patterns that help to find the kind of message (and key) that attackers try to recover. After the TrustLeap cure, the whole 128 or 256-bit key space leads to equally plausible solutions. Even if one can break the algorithm instantly (like with a quantum computer) there is no way to find the right solution among the gazillions of equally plausible plaintexts:

The number of atoms in the observable universe is estimated as 1080 (1 followed by 80 zeros).
By comparison, the whole 256-bit key space is a bit larger than 1077 (only 1,000 times smaller).

So, the 256-bit key space (when not artificially reduced) is much larger than the total of all the documents that will ever be created by humans or machines. As a result, the keys tried during a TrustLeap attack are leading to either:

  • many meaningless garbage entries (random data),
  • all the possible documents that may make sense (one day) to human beings or machines.

Any of these secured documents can be text (in any of the possible past, present and future languages), music, photos, movies, financial transactions, cooking recipes, wallpaper designs, pharmaceutical patents, etc.) and, because of the lack of ciphertext patterns, there is no possible way to find which one is the correct solution – even for us.

This is what makes TrustLeap's value: being provably-safe against unlimited power, forever, and by-design.

The Proof

We have mathematically demonstrated that "perfect encryption" (in the sense of the "Information Theory") can be done in three different ways, the one-time pad being the only one to have received public coverage – while it is by far the less practical method.

But, to prove TrustLeap's safety without disclosing how it works, we have made what scientists call a "cryptographic oracle". This is a Web form where users choose the:

  1. plaintext (one among several English classic books and one sentence they type)
  2. encryption standard to secure (they can choose between AES and the weak RC4)
  3. symmetric encryption key (which can be left empty, set to "123", anything you type)

Nobody will ever be able to find the random position of the chosen sentence in the chosen plaintext because these 100% known-plaintext brute-force attacks will find that all the solutions are mathematically equally-plausible (there's simply no more way to say which entry among all the solutions is the original plaintext).

This oracle is a safe way for TrustLeap partners to verify that the technology works as intended: licensing contracts just have to make provision for checking that a previously made ciphertext is decrypted by the TrustLeap filter.

For evaluation purposes, people can also get access to the results of such an oracle – and more explanations – here.

Of course, this cryptographic oracle can decrypt the produced ciphertext with your chosen key and crypto algorithm (and nothing else but TrustLeap's filter – there's no data related to any message stored anywhere), and anything made by such this oracle can be read by another machine (without the two machines being connected).

This is a decisive competitive advantage as TrustLeap makes all existing security products future-proof (provably-safe) and "compliant" with the crypto standards imposed globally by international regulations (including an uniquely enhanced double-key feature, see question #6 of our FAQs).

The difference between TrustLeap and other security vendors is simple:

  • while others claim they have "strong encryption" (where keys and algorithms must be upgraded periodically),
  • TrustLeap can mathematically prove that it has "unbreakable encryption" against unlimited computing power.

And, unlike all others, TrustLeap is not asking anyone to blindly believe that its technology is "strong enough".
"Strong enough" means nothing: strong until when and for who?

"Mathematically-proven as unbreakable" means that nobody will ever be able to break it.

And that's what TrustLeap provides: certainty, a much needed quality in a world populated by the "Internet of Things".

TrustLeap explains why other methods are unsafe and why its own technology is safe forever. This not done anywhere else for a simple reason: this is not taught in schools, the place where all the recognized experts have learned what they know. Instead, we have designed TrustLeap by questioning in use, and resolving the problem rather than picking the first available tool mis-presented as a solution.

[1] Breaking passwords (Outlook, Office, PDF, SQL, Lotus, Intuit, Sage, etc.) (source)
[2] Cryptanalysis of the Random Number Generators of Operating Systems (Windows, Linux)
[3] Source: "Information Security Policies and Actions in Modern Integrated Systems", page 54

Click our brochure to read our slides "The Need For Certainty".
Find how daily life "trusted security" (Web, Wifi, Phones, Cars, Vote, Credit Cards, Dongles) is broken.