Day 6 - SHA-1 broken, TRAPPIST-1 has planets, Homeland 6.5 - EPIC EPISODE!

Well well well. That was an eventful day.

I just learned from an @eevee tweet that SHA-1 collision was generated. That was about 40 minutes ago. Before that, another tweet told me showed me the cute gif that Google made for the TRAPPIST-1 discovery. All of this was right after I had just seen Homeland S06E05. I love the episode. I raved about it on Twitter.


SHA-1 collision was on it’s way, I guess? Chrome had already almost deprecated SHA-1 certificates, and apparently Root CAs were no longer allowed to issue SHA-1 only certificates. So, this should probably not affect stuff as much. Git should definitely be affected. I have read Linus say that even if there was ever a SHA-1 collision that happened, then Git would handle it just fine. Discussion about this has already started on the git mailing list, which I am following closely because I am trying to get this patch series merged in! This is the first time that I am working with the Git community, and they are really good! I have had email exchanges with Junio (who is the maintainer) and also with Matthieu Moy who commented on almost all of my patches! I am glad that I am able to contribute to something that I use daily, and make some kind of a significant and meaningful contribution to (g)it!

I have studied (in a course last semester: Cryptography and Network Security) about the internals of DES, AES, SPN Networks (which form the basics of modern Block Ciphers). I know about TLS and HTTPS because I obsessed over it. I would like to mention Robert Heaton’s brilliant blog post on the matter. (Also see @filippo’s talk about TLS 1.3 and why it is awesome. This is apparently pretty close to being a RFC and eventually being implemented on servers). I am also studying about more security proof stuff: IND-CPA, IND-CCA, etc this semester in another course: Foundations of Cryptography.

The one thing that’s missing from my arsenal is knowledge about the contruction of 1-way hash functions. I have tried reading the RFC for SHA-1, and although I kind-of understood it, I still need to understand it more completely. There’s one more thing added to my “read up about” list. (Kidding, I don’t have any such list, creating one should make sense though)

The second thing: TRAPPIST-1. I don’t know much about this, except for the distance that really registered in my head: 40 light years. That’s huge, and basically, what we are seeing now was happening at these planets 40 years ago.


Wow, that’s one generation of life! Imagine if someone could see (but not change) what we were doing 40 years ago, and think about how they would have felt about it.

Or better still, what if someone watched what we are doing right now, 40 years from now. For simiplicity, you should probably assume that it is human beings who don’t have any clue about anything, but somehow live 40 light-years from Earth) Yeah, it is all pretty weird and intriguing and scary.

The last thing that I really wanted to talk about was Homeland 6.5. It is seriously the best episode that I have seen them make in a long long time. The last time I felt this way was in Season 1 or Season 2. When Carrie and Brody and Quinn and Saul and Dar were at the top of their games. Now, only Dar seems to be at the top of his game, because Saul just confided in Dar. And from the trailer scene of Dar going into the room for a meeting and saying “No Saul?” and someone replying “No Saul”, it seems like he’s going to do something to get him out of his way so that Keane can’t be around any sane person except for Carrie and Rob (who seems really weird for a Chief of Staff, he never seems to be around any of the staff that he’s supposed to chief of! So unlike Amy from Veep)

The feeling that you get from Franny and Quinn’s first interaction scene together is soooo good! And the irony of it all is that Quinn wasn’t doing anything bad at all, he was doing exactly what Carrie would have done in a similar situation. Would Carrie have shot that guy on her front porch? Probably not. She would have certainly gone out and rationally convinced everyone there that they were being class A A-holes, and they should stop doing whatever they were upto. (which was intimidating a women in a house alone with a daughter for saving a guy who is now a suspect. Oh. Okay, maybe the intimidating thing isn’t right)

Yeah, I am watching Veep too. Mainly for Julia Louis-Dreyfus whom I love because of Seinfeld.