Monday, June 11, 2018

ISO rejection of Simon

I am a circuit designer by training, and not a cryptographer. One of the thing that I've found from working with cryptographers, is that I find them to be odd to work with by nature. It's most like because their products are seldom tangible, and therefore there is a lot of infighting.

In this article on the ISO rejection of SIMON, there's a quote regarding the NSA from Tomer Ashur: "They refused to motivate design choices they made such as the choice of matrices U, V, and W in Simon’s key schedule. Instead, they chose to personally attack some of the experts (including @hashbreaker, Orr Dunkelman and myself) as incompetent."

Well, I know the design choices behind U, W, V, which were related to slide attacks for some internal tool they had based on the rounds. I do not know anything about the tool, but Shor's mentioned this when I asked when I was writing my Simontool paper. The matrices in question with circuit implementation are in my simontool.supplemental.pdf. The question at hand is how U, W, and V where decided; however, I cannot answer that as I do not have their internal tools. Having said that, the circuits are beautiful, and perhaps someone will do a detailed analysis of the tradeoffs between each matrix for rounds.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

AES S-Box reference implementation.

One of the things that has always bothered me about academia is the "minimally publishable item". I was trying to find a reference AES circuit implementation, and I never found one, so I started writing one for me to use internally. I found the document to be so useful, I sent it out to see if anyone was interested in the tech report. Of course, no one was, so what I have is a very good text book chapter or a nice tech report that everyone seems to want, but no one wants to publish. I used to publish things on, but they decided grad student work was not important enough to be persistent. Once I was postdoc, the same thing happened. I'm hedging now that github will be around long enough for this work to be useful. I now present:

A reference implementation of the AES S-Box:

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Getting TeXShop to make acronym glossaries in LaTeX

I have no idea why this was so difficult. You need to make engine for TeXShop to create glossaries.
cd ~/Library/TeXShop/Engines
Now you need a text editor that can do ASCII files to create the engine. I called mine: make-glossaries.engine
bfname=$(dirname "$1")/"`basename "$1" .tex`"
makeindex -s "$bfname".ist -t "$bfname".alg -o "$bfname".acr "$bfname".acn
makeindex -s "$bfname".ist -t "$bfname".glg -o "$bfname".gls "$bfname".glo
Next you need to make it executable: chmod +x make-glossaries.engine
Once you restart TeXShop, you'll see "make-glossaries" in the drop down.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Getting a Nest Generation 3 to work with steam heat.

I had a difficult time getting a Nest to work my steam heating system, and google failed me, so I engineered through it. The nest says that it works with 95% of all systems out of the box, but when you have that 5%, it's rather vague. The Nest, and most other thermostats, are in the class of "power stealing thermostats", which basically means they use a RC circuit to leach a bit of power off the lines from the heater. This means that the power is acquired from two lines from the heater. At a minimum, you need two lines to turn on your heater, which are the R and the W. In my case, the Nest did not work; however, I guessed this might happen so I ordered a 120v to 24v transformer in advance.

I have a Beckett 7505B burner controller that does not have a common line. It has just two lugs, Tw and Tr, which are the R and W wire terminals. If you short these two wires together, the system will turn on. The issue was that the Nest need more power. The solution is to add a 24VAC transformer and connect them to the Rc and C lines. The "C" line is the common from the transformer, which is most likely a black line. The "Rc" line is the power from my non-existent air conditioner. In this way, the Nest is powered by Rc and C wires while the control is passed via the Rh and W1 wires. The final schematic follows and worked very well.

Monday, October 30, 2017

finding something in a text file

BSD and Linux have slightly different temperaments, and "find --type" didn't work under MacOS. I was trying to find the word "command" in all of my shell scripts to see how I tested if commands exists. I settled on grep:
grep --include=\*.sh -rl '.' -e 'command' 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Getting started with TypeScript under MacOS.

These are mainly notes for me, but I thought that it would be useful for someone else as well. I have a strong dislike for Javascript because the code seems to be sloppy and non-maintainable. When you come from the background of physics, the fact that you cannot do integer math will bother you. I have a new driver that I want to make portable projects between Windows/Linux/MacOS in a way that is approachable and maintainable.

I have been moving my MATLAB to Python, and for many things that are not related specific to mathematics I have had a more difficult time finding a portable language. Due to the fact that Windows support is always a challenge when you do not use it, I settled on Typescript. In the same way that Microsoft address all of my gripes about Java by making C#, Typescript solves most of my complains about Javascipt. Typescript creates Javascript, so that the code can run on the seemingly ubiquitous Javascript.

In order to use Typescript, we need a program called tsc at a minimum. A Typescript IDE would be helpful too (I used Visual Studio Code). In order to install TypeScript, I used macports, so start by installing macports.

Once you have macports, install package manager for node.js called npm:
port install npm5
Now that you have npm, you need to install the typescript support:
npm install -g typescript
Next you should test the installation of the typescript compiler, tsc
tsc --version
At this point, one can compile a program. It is a two step process where you use tsc to turn a typescript file into javascript, and then use node to execute the compiled javascript. I created a file called test.ts as in:
    class Startup {
        public static main(): number {
            console.log('Hello World');
            return 0;
You then can compile the test.ts file:
tsc test.ts
The result will be the generation of file test.js which now can be executed as
node test.js
The result is "Hello World"