APL Colloquium

May 29, 2009

Colloquium Topic: Information Assurance Lessons From the Past, WWII, and Today

This presentation is a giant 68 year step back in history by using the German Enigma, the bombe, and the battle for the North Atlantic in WWII to develop basic concepts in information assurance. The presentation describes the fundamental concepts behind these early crypto machines and describes one of the earliest brute force attacks against a hard cipher. It captures the major push/pulls between the u-boats and the surface convoys and gives a concrete example of a plaintext attack beyond the mathematics of the classroom. It delivers a message that UserID's and Password's are for suckers, provides an information security explanation of why Rommel, Patton, Stalin and Nimitz are recognized as great tacticians during WWII and challenges the audience to solve a serious security breach the Germans were not able to solve during the war. It finishes off with the real information security reason Ronald Reagan is respected for contributing to the fall of the Soviet Union.

Colloquium Speaker: Richard Talbott

Richard Talbott is one of our own, starting work at APL as a Co-Op student in 1974 implementing a hybrid computer simulation of oscillating solar panels aboard the SAS-C satellite. Graduating with a BSEE, he has worked on a number of data collection systems for Navy airborne, surface and subsurface systems and the construction/modeling of Hydrogen Maser Atomic Clocks. He is a principal contributor to the Navy's deployment of fiber optics and LANs and developed a branch of mathematics between Reliability and Survivability analysis that enabled the quantitative comparison of networks in high availability combat systems. As the hardware Technical Direction Agent for the Ship Self Defense System, Mr. Talbott successfully used this analysis to determine the final combat system network implementation for the LSD-41. He invented the software clock which time synchronizes Vertical Launching System computers on surface ships and is the principal contributor to the deployment of Blown Optical Fiber aboard the DDG-103 and follow ships. He is currently working on the DDG-113, Information Assurance, IFF interoperability issues and wireless technology.