RSA Responds to Claim that it Gave NSA Back Door Access in Exchange for $10M
December 23, 2013 11:43 AM
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RSA responded saying that it had no idea the NSA algorithm was flawed
Former U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) contractor
has brought many NSA secrets to light this year, the most recent being a "secret" contract between the agency and security industry leader RSA.
According to more documents leaked by Snowden, the NSA entered into a $10 million contract with RSA to place a flawed formula within encryption software (which is widely used in personal computers and other products) to obtain "back door" access to data.
The RSA software that contained the flawed formula was called Bsafe, which was meant to increase security in computers. The formula was an algorithm called Dual Elliptic Curve, and it was created within the NSA. RSA started using it in 2004 even before the National Institutes of Standards and Technology (NIST) approved it.
According to the RSA, it had no idea that the algorithm was flawed, or that it gave the NSA back door access to countless computers and devices. The NSA reportedly sold the algorithm as an enhancement to security without letting the RSA in on its real intentions.
In fact, RSA responded to media reports about its contract with the NSA, saying it was never secret at all. It said the fact that RSA worked with NSA was always made public, but that RSA had no idea the government agency was actually sabotaging its encryption product.
"Recent press coverage has asserted that RSA entered into a 'secret contract' with the NSA to incorporate a known flawed random number generator into its BSAFE encryption libraries. We categorically deny this allegation," said RSA in a
"We have worked with the NSA, both as a vendor and an active member of the security community. We have never kept this relationship a secret and in fact have openly publicized it. Our explicit goal has always been to strengthen commercial and government security."
Many in the security community were surprised at RSA's entanglement with the NSA, but the latest news of a $10 million contract as well has really shocked the industry.
RSA is known as a pioneer in the realm of computer security, and has notoriously fought off the NSA in previous attempts at breaking encryption.
Back in the 1990s, RSA -- which was started by MIT professors in the 1970s and is now a subsidiary of EMC Corp. -- rallied against the Clinton administration's "Clipper Chip," which was supposed to be a required component in computers and phones that would allow government officials to bypass encryption with a warrant.
RSA created a public campaign against the Clipper Chip, and it was eventually tossed out. However, it resorted to export controls to stop enhanced cryptography from crossing U.S. borders, and RSA fought further. RSA then established an Australian division that could ship the products it wanted.
RSA told customers to stop using the NSA formula in Bsafe when NIST issued new guidance in September 2013.
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RE: Not a day goes by...
12/23/2013 6:45:12 PM
The real crooks are the gang of shrub, (what else do you call a little bush), who started all this garbage with their phony crisis about everything and their endless, illegal and expensive wars that were all done 'off budget' so we wouldn't see the true cost until they were out of office. Those wars are where the huge budget deficit came from. If you believe anything else, I've got a bridge in New York you can buy. Remember the pictures of Rumsfailed shaking hands and laughing with Saddam Hussein? Remember the pictures of bush planting a lip-lock on the Saudi king? Remember Cheney saying; "Deficits don't matter!"? Those were the real criminals who started all this garbage!
RE: Not a day goes by...
12/24/2013 5:52:36 AM
There's a good comic for people who think like you do:
Regardless of who started it, someone in power who continues it is just as complicit. "Billy started it, I just followed him" was never a valid excuse when you were a kid, and it isn't a valid excuse in adulthood.
RE: Not a day goes by...
12/24/2013 4:58:13 PM
"Those wars are where the huge budget deficit came from."
One of Obama's campaign platforms was the $5 Trillion in public debt that GWB added. B.O. had this to say in response to the Bush administration's deficit and debt:
"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a Sign that the US Government cannot pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. ... Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that 'the buck stops here'. Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and Grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better."
Keeping in mind that GWB increased debt by $5T in his 8 years, can you not see the hypocrisy in that fact that Obama increased the debt by an additional $5T in just 4 years. We still have the second term of this joker to finish out, who knows how many more $Trillions he's going to add. B.O. is a liar and a fraud and we are all paying the price for his incompetence.
RE: Not a day goes by...
12/25/2013 5:32:36 AM
HAH. Yeah, i'm sure the $758 billion stimulus program obama enacted in 2009 had nothing to do with it. That's just about the entire Iraq war there.
When are you people going to figure out it's not just the republicans, or the democrats, but both parties are equally to blame? Not to mention it goes back for many, many, MANY years before bush.
Why did bush run deficits? It's very, very simple: Because Clinton was the last person to steal from social security. How else do you think he "balanced the budget"? He didn't balance anything, he did just 2 things: 1. Steal the last of the actual money from social security (now filled with $2,6 trillion worth of
, or IOU's from the government, causing a drag on the budget because of yearly payments), and 2. Convert the vast majority of US debt, which then had an average maturity of 15+ years, to short term debt which carries much lower rates,saving money on interest rates, but also meaning now more then half of US debt matures under 3 years. If it wasn't for this combined with ZIRP from the Fed, interest on national debt would've already cost $1+ trillion a year. Which it will anyway if rates go back up to the historical average of 6,6%.
Oh now you think the democrats did it? What about Reagan who introduced deficit spending? There's hardly been a president who ran up the debt faster percentage wise then reagan, including bush and obama.
I've said it before (and was ridiculed for it) but i'll say it again. You want to look at the last fiscally responsive president? Jimmy carter. During the oil shocks he saw what the amount of credit present in the US economy had for effect and raised interest rates through the roof to stop it. And yknow what, he would've succeeded had he'd been re-elected, the rates would've come down naturally, credit would've been rained in, and NONE of the current fiscal problems would've been problems. Bush could've started 2 additional wars and the budget would've been *fine*.
But no. The American people decided they didn't like hardship. So they elected Nixon instead, first thing he did was drop the interest rates and resume the expansion of credit and whodathunkit, the economy "recovered". Also he had to drop the gold standard 3 years later because of this very fact, too much money vs gold in circulation. Gee, i wonder how that happened.
If it's the fault of ANYBODY, it's the fault of the american people as a whole. Vote republican. Vote democrat. But whatever you do, don't educate yourself. Just blame the other guy. Meanwhile, steal from your children, go on, they can't defend themselves anyway. You say your government are criminals? Well i say:
"Every nation get's the government it deserves".
"Well, there may be a reason why they call them 'Mac' trucks! Windows machines will not be trucks." -- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
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