Fortify banner

Fortify FAQ
17 May 2000

This is Fortify, a program that provides world-wide, unconditional, full strength 128-bit cryptography to users of Netscape Navigator (v3 and v4) and Communicator (v4).


Capabilities and Versions

Why do I need Fortify?
What features does Fortify provide?
What advantages does it have over alternative solutions?
But aren't the 128-bit versions of Communicator available outside the U.S.?
What versions of Netscape does it support?
What about the v4.73 (or later) versions?
Are the beta and preview editions supported?
Are the international (non-English) editions supported?
Is Fortify itself available in non-English translations?
Is Fortify Year 2000 ready?
Does it work with a server that uses a Verisign Global Server ID?

Installation

Where can I get the most recent version?
I'm impatient. How do I run it?
What else do I need to do?
What exactly does Fortify do?
What safeguards does Fortify use? Can I uninstall it?
What does Fortify not do?
What will Fortify do to a U.S.-Domestic grade (128-bit) browser?
What does the message "{my browser} is ... not recognisable" mean?

After Installation

How do I check the encryption strength of my copy of Netscape?
How do I encrypt and/or sign my email messages?
I have been using Fortify. How do I upgrade to a later version of Communicator ?

Related Issues

What are the terms of use governing Fortify for Netscape?
What's all this about RSA/RC4/40-bits/512-bits/symmetric keys? I'm confused.
How strong is a 40 bit secret key anyway?
Has anyone ever "broken" one of these keys?
Why should I bother with Fortify? Who cares!
Is this legal?

Other Resources

Where do I send feedback or questions?

Miscellaneous

Acknowledgements - Software
Acknowledgements - MacOS
Acknowledgements - Non-English Translations


Capabilities and Versions

Why do I need Fortify?

The answer to this question can easily be illustrated:

The export-grade browser - on the left - can only communicate securely with a certain specific set of web servers. The fortified browser - on the right - can communicate securely with any full strength web server anywhere on the Internet.

A more detailed explanation of this comparison, along with some examples of each type of server, can be found on the Fortify web site, here.

What features does Fortify provide?

In the Netscape 2.x and 3.x browsers, Fortify provides full strength, 128-bit encryption facilities. These are used when connecting to an encrypting web server (with the SSL protocol). Without Fortify, the export-grade web browsers are limited to 40-bit encryption facilities, which are substantially weaker, and have been demonstrated to be "crackable".

In the Netscape 4.x browsers, Fortify provides these same 128-bit encryption features, plus the ability to generate 1024-bit RSA keys internally (these are typically used for client certificates), plus the ability to send and receive e-mail messages using strong 128-bit encryption (with the S/MIME protocol).

Further details are provided in the following sections of this document.

What advantages does it have over alternative solutions?

When comparing Fortify to alternative strong encryption solutions, such as SSL relays, SSL proxies, or Java-based applet solutions, a number of advantages are worth considering:

  1. It is more secure. A Fortified browser performs strong encryption internally. When connecting to a full strength web server, you have a true, end-to-end, strongly encrypted channel. With SSL proxies, at least one segment of the channel remains weakly encrypted.
  2. It is faster. When using a Fortified browser, the data in the communications channel is not re-encrypted as it travels between the browser and the web server. It also has fewer network "hops" to traverse. And, unlike some alternative solutions, no supplementary Java applets are involved. All these factors result in better network performance, and less load on your PC or workstation.
  3. It is simpler. A Fortified browser requires no additional certificates for its correct operation. Indeed, no other browser reconfigurations are needed at all. It is easy to install.
  4. It is intranet friendly. A Fortified browser can be readily installed on a LAN file server and shared to a group of users. No further installation effort is required on each individual workstation or PC. In medium or large scale networks, this can lead to substantial savings in administrative time and effort.

But aren't the 128-bit versions of Communicator available outside the U.S.?

Yes. In January 2000, the U.S. Government relaxed export regulations over certain classes of mass-market encryption products. In line with these changes, Netscape has made the strong-crypto versions of Communicator and Navigator available worldwide. If you download one of these browsers from the Netscape servers, then you will not need Fortify for Netscape.

The full details and effects of this change are explained further here.

What versions of Netscape does it support?

The current release of Fortify supports all of the following non-beta Netscape browsers (English edition):-

Navigator Standard verns 2.02, 3.01, 3.02, 3.03, 3.04
Navigator Gold verns 3.01, 3.02, 3.03, 3.04
Navigator Lite (stand-alone) verns 4.02 to 4.08, 4.05-JDK1.1, 4.5, 4.51, 4.6, 4.61, 4.7, 4.72
Communicator verns 4.01 to 4.08, 4.05-JDK1.1, 4.5, 4.51, 4.6, 4.61, 4.7, 4.72
that were released for the following platforms:-
DEC-OSF + Dec UNIX (Alpha systems)
HP-UX 10.x (HPPA systems) (Note C)
IBM AIX 4.x (RS6000 systems) (Note C)
SGI Irix 5.x and 6.x (Mips systems)
Sun Solaris 2.4 and 2.5.1 (Sparc systems)
Sun Solaris 2.4 and 2.5.1 (Intel x86 systems)
Sun SunOS 4.1.3_U1 (Sparc systems)
BSD, FreeBSD, BSDI (Intel x86 systems) (Note A)
Linux-Elf and Linux-glibc2 (Intel x86 systems)
MKLinux and LinuxPPC (PowerPC systems)
Microsoft Windows 95/98 and Windows NT (Intel x86 systems)
IBM OS/2 (Intel x86 systems) (Note B)
Apple Mac OS (PowerPC systems) (Note D)

Note A: BSD versions v3.01, v3.03-gold, v3.04, and v4.04 onwards only.
Note B: OS/2 version v2.02 (svc lvl 4,7,8), 4.04 (svc lvl 5,6,fixpack1), and 4.61
Note C: On these operating systems, version v4.06 onwards only.
Note D: MacOS PowerPC versions only, version v4.06 onwards only.

What about the v4.73 (or later) versions?

Please refer to this update statement.

Are the beta and preview editions supported?

Specific beta or preview releases of the Netscape browsers may be supported from time to time, but, in general, there is no on-going guarantee that these editions are supported. Being preview releases they come in fairly low on the priority list, since they typically have short lifetimes, they are of a poorer quality, and they stretch resources disproportionately.

If you would like to see a particular preview release supported, feel free to say so, and keep an eye out for future announcements (or subscribe to the Fortify mailing list).

Are the international (non-English) editions supported?

Fortify for Netscape is not explicitly regression tested against any of the international editions of the Netscape browsers.

However, the international and English browsers all use the same underlying Netscape executable program. Fortify can be expected, therefore, to successfully recognise and upgrade these browsers. Indeed, many Fortify users have already reported this to be the case.

Is Fortify itself available in non-English translations?

Yes.

The Fortify software has been translated into several non-English languages. These efforts are on-going.

The translations are provided through the generous, co-operative efforts of a large number of project participants and testers, under open contribution arrangements.

Is Fortify Year 2000 ready?

Yes.

Naturally, this statement does not extend to cover the entire functional definition of Netscape's browser. It only covers the functionality provided by Fortify for Netscape.

Does it work with a server that uses a Verisign Global Server ID?

Yes. In fact, a fortified browser will always use 128-bit encryption when connecting to any strongly encrypting web server - regardless of the server certificate involved. For encryption purposes, the browser draws no distinction between the various server certificates.


Installation

Where can I download the most recent version?

The Fortify home page is on the net, currently at http://www.fortify.net/ Please refer to that site for download details, and all the latest news about Fortify.

I'm impatient. How do I run it?

Microsoft Windows insignia   Windows 95/98/NT installation instructions:-

  1. Fortify is provided as a single self-extracting archive, named fn225w32-Language.exe. Simply download and run this file. Doing this will unpack and automatically launch the Fortify software.
  2. The program will prompt you, via a wizard-like interface for any additional information or confirmations as it proceeds.
  3. Once you have Fortify'd your browser, you can optionally uninstall Fortify itself if you wish. This will not affect the newly upgraded nature of your browser. The standard "Add/Remove Programs" interface in the Control Panel should be used to perform the de-installation.

Apple Macintosh insignia   Apple Mac OS installation instructions:-

  1. Ensure that you are not running Netscape at the moment.
  2. Fortify is provided as a self-extracting VISE installer archive, named Fortify-2.2.6-macos.bin. Simply decode and run this installer. Doing this will unpack and automatically launch the Fortify software.
  3. Fortify will prompt you, via a wizard-like interface for any additional information or confirmations as it proceeds.
  4. Once you have Fortify'd your browser, you can remove the Fortify-2.2.6-macos folder if you wish. If you think you might wish to uninstall Fortify some time later, you should retain a copy of the Fortify distribution archive. This is your choice.

IBM insignia   IBM OS/2 installation instructions:-

  1. Unzip the distribution on to your local hard disk. Note: you must preserve the distribution's directory structure! Winzip 6.0 or PKZip 2.50 (or later) are the recommended archivers. However, if you are stuck with PKZip 2.04g, the following command should suffice:
    pkunzip -d -e fn145os2.zip
  2. Ensure that you are not running Netscape at the moment.
  3. Copy, de-compress and then fortify your netscape.exe file:-
    cd fn145os2
    copy C:\Netscape\netscape.exe C:\Netscape\n128.exe
    repack.exe /EXEPACK:0 C:\Netscape\n128.exe
    del C:\Netscape\n128.bak
    fortify.exe C:\Netscape\n128.exe

  4. Optionally re-compress your new Netscape browser:-
    repack.exe /EXEPACK:2 C:\Netscape\n128.exe
    del C:\Netscape\n128.bak

  5. Copy the file extended attributes to your new Netscape browser:-
    eautil netscape.exe n128.ea /p /s
    eautil n128.exe n128.ea /o /j

  6. Finally, check and adjust your Netscape desktop icon's properties, so that it refers to C:\Netscape\n128.exe rather than C:\Netscape\netscape.exe
  7. Once Fortify is installed, you can remove the fn145os2 folder if you wish. If you think you might wish to uninstall Fortify some time later, you should retain a copy of the Fortify distribution archive. This is your choice.
Notes for OS/2 users:

Unix generic insignia   Unix installation instructions:-

  1. Ensure that you are not running Netscape at the moment.
  2. In the following example, you should substitute the name of your particular distribution for unix-TYPE:
    gzip -dc Fortify-1.4.6-unix-TYPE.tar.gz | tar -xf -
    cd Fortify-1.4.6-unix-TYPE
    ./Fortify.sh [your-Netscape-filename ...]
  3. The script will prompt you for any additional information or confirmations as it proceeds.
  4. Once Fortify is installed, you can remove the Fortify-1.4.6-unix-TYPE folder if you wish. If you think you might wish to uninstall Fortify some time later, you should retain a copy of the Fortify distribution archive. This is your choice.

Following these steps will cause a precompiled copy of Fortify to be executed during the upgrade. If you are not happy with the thought of running a precompiled program that you have downloaded from the net, then feel free to rebuild it for yourself. The source code can be found in the 'src' directory, along with a src/README file that contains some lab and build notes.

What else do I need to do?

You should flush your Netscape memory and disk caches.

This is not strictly necessary, but it will avoid confusion if you are in the habit of checking the "Document Information" screen. This screen reports the SSL secret key length that was used when the document was fetched from its home web server - which might be earlier than the time when Fortify was applied if it is a cached document.

You should also check your SSL cipher preferences. If you normally use a non-default set of SSL ciphers, you may wish to review your choices. After running Fortify you will have an improved set of ciphers to choose from. The SSL cipher controls are in the Security Preferences dialog of the Options menu (v3), or the Security Info window of the Communicator menu (v4).

What exactly does Fortify do?

Netscape has possessed the ability to perform SSL encryption ever since the version 2.0 release. The cipher functions have no inherent key length limitations. However, the export grade browser only generates and uses 40-bit secret keys (padded out with clear text key material where needed).

Fortify simply arranges for Netscape to generate and/or use 128-bit secret keys whenever possible. It achieves this by installing itself directly in to the browser at a small number of specific places. In other words, it directly imprints your browser. Thus, no SSL proxy servers or relays are involved. No supplementary libraries or support programs are installed. No helper applications are needed. No special certificates are required in either the server or the browser.

You start with a vanilla copy of Netscape. You run Fortify against it. You finish with a Netscape executable that is equally as strong as the U.S. domestic version. You then use it in the normal manner. The next time you connect to any full strength SSL server, 128-bit encryption will be used, end-to-end, from the server right through to your browser. No other re-configurations or adjustments are necessary.

In the Netscape 4.x browsers, Fortify also upgrades security in two additional areas - the maximum RSA key size and the S/MIME e-mail ciphers. The maximum RSA generated key size is raised from 512 bits (export-grade) to 1024-bits (domestic-grade). Internally generated RSA keys are typically used for client certificates, i.e. for authentication purposes.

Strong encryption is provided for your e-mail messages with the presence of four strong S/MIME encryption ciphers that are not otherwise available in the export browsers. These ciphers are triple-DES 168-bit, RC2 128-bit, RC2 64-bit and DES 56-bit. With these ciphers in operation, your e-mail privacy is substantially enhanced.

What safeguards does Fortify use? Can I uninstall it?

Before upgrading your copy of Netscape, Fortify will perform a number of preliminary checks. It checks that a) it has write permission on your Netscape program, b) that it can recognize your Netscape program as a known version (its file size and MD5 fingerprint are used for this), and c) that the installation for that Netscape version can be applied without error. If all three tests pass, Fortify then proceeds with the upgrade.

Fortify also has a 'nowrite' mode. This is enabled with a '-n' flag on the command line version, or with a checkbox setting in the Options... dialog on the GUI version. In 'nowrite' mode normal processing occurs, but nothing is actually installed. You can use it to safely do a dry run of the program.

For your added peace of mind, Fortify will offer to retain a backup copy of your browser in the same directory. The backup file is given a '.sav' file extension.

At any time you may remove the upgrade from your Netscape browser. You do this simply by re-running Fortify against your copy of Netscape. Fortify will detect the upgraded nature of your browser and offer to reverse the upgrade. Reversing the upgrade returns your browser exactly to its original form.

What does Fortify not do?

Fortify does NOT

  • introduce any new functionality into Netscape.
  • plant any trojan horses, viruses, time bombs etc.
  • affect any of Netscape's non-SSL or non-S/MIME code.
  • affect any of Netscape's low level cryptographic algorithms such as RSA, RC2, RC4, DES, MD5, SHA etc.
  • cook your breakfast.

    What will Fortify do to a U.S.-Domestic grade (128-bit) browser?

    Nothing. Fortify will only recognise and upgrade export-grade browsers. Of course, if you have a U.S.-Domestic browser, then you don't need Fortify, since it will give you nothing that you do not already have. But there is no risk of accidentally damaging your browser through the use of Fortify.

    What does the message "{my browser} is ... not recognisable" mean?

    Unfortunately Fortify does not support all releases and all editions of the Netscape browsers.

    The "not recognisable" message can be triggered for any one of several possible reasons:

    1. Your platform or operating system is not supported.
      Please check the list of supported operating systems in the
      above table.

    2. Your browser is too new for your copy of Fortify for Netscape.
      Each time a new Netscape browser is released, a matching release of Fortify for Netscape must be made. This is inherent in its nature. So if you download a shiny new Netscape browser, you will normally find that your old copy of Fortify does not recognise it. You will also need to download a shiny new release of Fortify.

    3. Your browser is too old.
      Fortify for Netscape only supports browsers commencing from version 3.01 onwards on Unix and Windows, or from version 4.06 on MacOS, or from 2.02 on OS/2 (the 2.02 OS/2 browser is substantially the same as v3.x on Unix and Windows),

    4. Your Netscape browser is produced by a third party vendor.
      The editions of Navigator and Communicator produced or rebadged by third-party organisations are not, as a rule, supported. There are simply too many of them. Typically these browsers are bundled with a machine, or with a larger body of system software. Some past examples under this heading have been: SGI, BSDI, Calderra, AT&T, and Corel.

    5. You have an unsupported beta or preview release browser.
      Please refer to the above note.

    6. You have a U.S. domestic (128-bit) browser.
      Please refer to the above question.

    7. You have a copy of Communicator-for-France.
      Until recently, French national law outlawed the possession and use of strong cryptography. For this reason, the Communicator-for-France browsers have not historically been supported by Fortify. With the liberalization of French national crypto laws, it is now recommended that French citizens obtain and then fortify a copy of the vanilla, export-grade Netscape browser.

    8. You browser has been modified in some way.
      Applying third-party patches or modifications to your browser can sometimes render your browser unrecognisable to Fortify. To avoid this problem, simply fortify your browser before making any modifications or patches. Note, however, that you will not be able to de-fortify your browser later, so make sure that you keep a back-up copy of your original browser within arms reach.


    After Installation

    How do I check the encryption strength of my copy of Netscape?

    You have a few alternatives.

    1. The simplest method is to restart Netscape, or call up the "About..." page from the Help menu. On this page you will see a section describing the program's cryptographic features.

      The Unix export versions of Netscape describe themselves as
      "This version supports International security ........."

      Fortified versions (and presumably U.S. domestic versions) describe themselves as
      "This version supports U.S. security ..........."

    2. Under Windows 95/98/NT and Unix, the most direct evidence of your browser's cryptographic capabilities is in the SSL and S/MIME cipher preferences dialog boxes, in the security manager.

      Export versions of Navigator (v3) offer 40-bit RC2 and RC4 ciphers (example), whereas the Fortified version offers 128-bit RC4 (example).

      Export versions of Communicator (v4) offer 40-bit RC4 for web connections, or 128-bit RC4 and 168-bit triple-DES when a "blessed" web server is involved (example). Fortified versions, however, offer 128-bit RC4 and 168-bit triple-DES without restriction (example). For sending and receiving e-mail, Communicator (v4) offers 40-bit RC2 only (example), whereas Fortified versions carry an additional four strong e-mail ciphers (example).

    3. Alternatively, you can connect to any public full strength web server, for example https://www.fortify.net/ or https://www.c2.net/, and download a page. You can see the encryption strength of the connection in two places:-

      a) In Navigator v3, the small key icon in the bottom left hand corner of the browser indicates the encryption status.

      A broken key symbol indicates no encryption
      A solid key with a single tooth signifies an export grade cipher (40-bits)
      A solid key with two teeth signifies a full strength cipher is in operation.

      b) The "Document Information" screen reports the cipher and key length that was used when the document was fetched. Strong ciphers are described as "a high-grade encryption key ....", while weak ciphers are described as "a medium-grade encryption key ....".

    4. If you are the skeptical type, find yourself a trustworthy web server that tells you about the strength of each incoming SSL connection - such as this one: https://www.fortify.net/sslcheck.html It you want independent verification, try searching through the Netcraft SSL Servers Survey at http://www.netcraft.co.uk/ssl/

      Alternatively, find an Apache-SSL web server that has the "printenv" cgi-bin script installed ("printenv" prints all the environment variables passed to itself; it is included in the vanilla Apache distribution). Open an SSL connection to this script, e.g. https://some.server.name/cgi-bin/printenv.

      Export versions of Netscape will see a HTML page returned by printenv that includes these lines:-

              HTTP_USER_AGENT = Mozilla/3.01 (X11; I; ...platform...)
              HTTPS = on
              HTTPS_CIPHER = EXP-RC4-MD5
              HTTPS_KEYSIZE = 128
              HTTPS_SECRETKEYSIZE = 40
            

      Fortified versions (and presumably U.S. domestic versions) will see a HTML page returned that includes these lines:-

              HTTP_USER_AGENT = Mozilla/3.01 (X11; U; ...platform...)
              HTTPS = on
              HTTPS_CIPHER = RC4-MD5
              HTTPS_KEYSIZE = 128
              HTTPS_SECRETKEYSIZE = 128
            

    5. If you are the mis-trusting type, find yourself (or build) a trustworthy web server that only accepts U.S. domestic strength SSL connections. Export version of Netscape will fail to connect to such a server, but Fortify'd Netscape will succeed.

      You can also perform the reverse test, i.e. using only high grade ciphers connect to a server that only accepts export strength SSL connections. Amazingly, the server at Verisign (www.verisign.com) is an example in this category!!

    6. If you are the deeply suspicious type, you are going to need some tools of your own. You can either

      a) build a test bed server that dumps out SSL conversations (ApacheSSL + SSLeay makes a fine starting point for this),

      b) snoop the https packets that pass between the browser and web server across a network link.

    How do I encrypt and/or sign my email messages?

    To send encrypted email messages to someone using the Netscape mail program, you must have a copy of their personal certificate already stored in your Netscape certificate database. You can obtain their certificate either by searching a Network Directory service, or by having them send you a signed email message.

    To sign your own email messages, or to allow others to send you encrypted messages, you need to obtain your own personal certificate.

    Personal certificates are available from most Certificate Authorities around the world. Thawte Inc. and GlobalSign both offer personal certificate products, in a variety of trust levels and prices, including a no-cost option. When applying for a personal certificate, always ensure that the certificate key size is at least 1024-bits.

    Note that if you had a personal certificate prior to upgrading your browser with Fortify, this certificate will almost certainly be based upon a weak, 512-bit key pair. You should immediately revoke this certificate, and obtain a new 1024-bit certificate using your fortified browser.

    I have been using Fortify. How do I upgrade to a later version of Communicator ?

    You can do this in one of two ways. The simplest and safest method is to download a complete export-grade distribution of the new Communicator browser, and then install and fortify that browser. This approach has an added advantage - you can easily revert to your old browser should the new one not work.

    Alternatively, you can de-fortify your current browser (by rerunning Fortify), then use the Netscape Smart Update facility to upgrade your browser, and then fortify your upgraded browser.

    In both alternatives you will need to obtain the latest version of Fortify for Netscape.


    Related Issues

    What are the terms of use governing Fortify ?

    Fortify is free for all forms of non-commercial use, including individual, educational, research, or charitable use.

    Commercial use, or commercial re-distribution, of Fortify is controlled under the terms of the software Copyright, and requires a formal licence. However, the terms are deliberately simple, and, more often than not, they are purely a formality.

    Organisations should, in the first instance, register their interest in using Fortify for Netscape, via the contact enquiry form

    What's all this about RSA/RC4/40-bits/512-bits/symmetric keys? I'm confused.

    To cut a long story short, there are two types of keys used by Netscape. One is a "secret key", which encrypts and decrypts your transmitted data. The secret key is generally between 40 and 168 bits in size, depending on the cipher involved.

    The second key type - the RSA key - actually manifests itself as two keys, a public and a private key pair. These are used when a new SSL connection is established to securely exchange secret keys. Public and private keys are generally at least 512 bits in size.

    All this is a gross simplification of SSL key theory. If you want to know more, you should refer to one of the many fine SSL reference documents available on the Web.

    How strong is a 40 bit secret key anyway?

    It is feeble.

    Netscape Communications peg the computation effort to exhaustively search a 40 bit key at approximately 64 MIPS-years (MIPS = millions of instructions per second). This means that it would take a 1 MIPS computer 64 years to find a 40 bit key value. A 64 MIPS computer would take one year to do the same task. Two such computers would need 6 months of computation. And so on.

    Digital Equipment Corporation announced in July 1996 a version of its 64-bit Alpha 21164 RISC chip that is capable of 2000 MIPS. Hook together, say, four CPUs of this power, and you have a machine that can exhaustively search a 40-bit key space in (64 * 365) / (2000 * 4) = 2.92 days. On average, a key search will reach its goal in half the maximum search time, i.e. 1.46 days. This is a crude example. The inescapable conclusion is that large corporations, governments, and intelligence agencies already have the ability to break 40-bit keys in real-time. The encryption is transparent - like using glass windows against a peeping tom.

    Similar deficiencies can be seen in the 56-bit DES algorithm. DES is roughly twenty years old. At the time it was designed and published it was regarded as being sufficiently strong, given the computing power that was available in the 1970s. Since then the algorithm has remained unchanged, and our technology has made quantum leaps several times over. You can draw your own conclusions...

    In a recent article "Minimal Key Lengths for Symmetric Ciphers to Provide Adequate Commercial Security", several of the world's leading cryptographers "strongly recommend a minimum key-length of 90 bits for symmetric cryptosystems (unquote)". [Ref: here ]. 90-bit keys would appear to be acceptably strong in 1997. 128-bit keys are therefore what the world should be using.

    Has anyone ever "broken" one of these keys?

    Yes. Several times. One of the first public attacks on a 40-bit key was carried out in August 1995, as part of Hal's Challenge. The challenge was ultimately solved independently by two parties. The first party to find the key was David Byers and Eric Young, using approx 50 PCs, 15 workstations and a MasPar MP-1 for the search. The second person to find the key was Damien Doliegez (France), who used approx 20 workstations and two supercomputers for 8 days to conduct the search.

    A group known as the Cypherpunks have banded together to co-operatively conduct exhaustive key searches in record times using run-of-the-mill computing resources. Their fastest time for a 40-bit key search currently stands at 31 hours 47 minutes, which was the time taken to break Hal's Second Challenge, also in Aug 1995.

    In January and February of 1997, two more cryptography challenges were broken. The first was a 40-bit cipher key that was broken in a mere 3.5 hours by Mr. Ian Goldberg at the University of California, Berkeley, using a network of approx 250 PCs and workstations. The second was a 48-bit cipher key that was broken in approx 13 days by a collaborative group of approx 5000 computers operating across the Internet.

    56-bit DES has also been "broken", on at least four separate occasions. The Deschall group, headed by Mr. Rocke Verser, announced the winning key to the RSA's first DES challenge in June 1997. Deschall was, once again, an Internet-based collaborative effort. The group used the spare CPU cycles from "tens of thousands" of standard computers, over a period of roughly four months, to perform the key search.

    The second DES challenge was completed in February 1998, by a collaborative group known as distributed.net in 39 days - one third of the time taken to solve the first DES challenge.

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation has accomplished at least two separate 56-bit DES "cracks" in June and July, 1998. The most widely publicized result was a solution to the RSA DES II challenge. The solution was achieved in 56 hours - substantially faster than the previous record. These results once again demonstrate the fact that export grade ciphers, including DES, are largely ineffective, and their usefulness degrades rapidly over time.

    These and other challenges were published by RSA Inc. on Jan 28th, 1997 as part of a research exercise into the security of export grade ciphers. The exercise is on-going

    Why should I bother with Fortify? Who cares!

    Let's keep the politics to a minimum, ok? Suffice it to say that privacy is a right, and that the U.S. government's cryptographic export restrictions are helping no-one (with the possible exception of itself). If you use a web browser for anything that is even slightly personal, valuable or sensitive - and sooner or later you will - then you need strong encryption.

    Strong encryption exists right now. It is proven, it is practical, it is reliable and it is cheap. It is by far the best possible solution to a worldwide need. Anything less is a sham.

    Say "No" to key escrow.
    Say "No" to Clipper chips.
    Say "No" to key recovery systems.
    Say "No" to diluted key lengths.
    Say "No" to cryptography that comes with "strings attached".

    Is this legal?

    Fortify for Netscape was developed in Australia, using all Australian resources, with no assistance from Netscape Communications. As such, it is beyond the ambit of the U.S. Government's export controls.

    Australian export regulations do not currently restrict export of cryptographic software by electronic means, such as FTP or e-mail.

    You may have the misfortune of being subject to laws in your home country that restrict or prohibit the possession of strong cryptography. In such situations you may find that you cannot legally use Fortify for Netscape together with a Netscape browser.

    Fortify for Netscape is not a Netscape product. Furthermore, the U.S. export laws prevent Netscape U.S. from providing any official endorsement or support for Fortify. You must weigh up this fact against the acceptability of export-grade cryptography. Support and assistance relating to Fortify for Netscape is available via the the feedback form on the Fortify web site.

    Of course these are not legally authoritative statements. If necessary, you should obtain proper legal guidance from experts in your home country.


    Other Resources

    Where do I send feedback or questions?

    If you have a moment, please take the time to send in your feedback via the Fortify web site.


    Miscellaneous

    Acknowledgements - Software

    This toolkit contains a modified copy of the 'md5' component of the SSLeay-0.6.3 distribution. SSLeay is written and distributed by Eric Young, eay@cryptsoft.com. Many thanks, Eric!

    Acknowledgements - MacOS

    Fortify on MacOS has been made possible thanks to the good grace and generosity of many different sponsors. In no particular order, these are as follows:

    1. Apple Computer Ltd. (Aust.)
    2. Metrowerks - CodeWarrior and Powerplant
    3. Bowers Development - AppMaker; GUI builder and software development environment
      Phn: +1 (603) 863-0945
      Web: http://members.aol.com/bowersdev/
      Email: BowersDev@aol.com
    4. Mindvision Software - the Macintosh installer for this product was created using Installer VISE from MindVision Software. For more information on Installer VISE, contact:
      MindVision Software
      7201 North 7th Street
      Lincoln, NE 68521-8913
      U.S.A.

      Voice: +1 402 477-3269
      Fax: +1 402 477-1395
      E-mail: mindvision@mindvision.com
      Web: http://www.mindvision.com

    Acknowledgements - Non-English Translations

    Non-English translations of Fortify for Netscape are created and tested by many different people and groups. Some of these are as follows (in no particular order):

    1. Deutsch:
      Timo Brüggemann
      Nichols Computer Consultancy GmbH
      Email: timo@nichols.de
      Web: http://www.nichols.de

      Lenz Grimmer
      S.u.S.E. GmbH
      Email: grimmer@suse.de
      Web: http://www.suse.de

      Manuel Thierschmidt
      Thierschmidt Datenschutz e.K.
      Email: info@thierschmidt.com
      Web: http://www.thierschmidt.com

    2. Espanol-Mexico:
      Jorge Hazael Perez Moysen
      Email: hazael@campus.cem.itesm.mx

    3. Italiano:
      Gabriele & Michele Venturi
      Email: venturi@database.it
      Web: http://www.database.it/~venturi

    4. Polski:
      Jaroslaw Nozderko
      Email: nozderko@ai.com.pl

    5. Russian:
      Sergei Stanulis
      SIS GmbH, Siemens partner
      Email: Sergei.Stanulis@sis.com.by

    6. Svenska:
      Christian Rose
      Email: menthos@menthos.com
      Web: http://www.menthos.com