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US standards for software may allow “back doors” for NSA: Experts

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Reuters 
July 15, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO: US government standards for software may enable spying by the National Security Agency (NSA) through widely used coding formulas that should be jettisoned, some of the country’s top independent experts concluded in papers released.

Such mathematical formulas, or curves, are an arcane but essential part of most technology that prevents interception and hacking, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has been legally required to consult with the NSA’s defensive experts in approving them and other cryptography standards.

But NIST’s relationship with the spy agency came under fire in September after reports based on documents from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden pointed to one formula in particular as a Trojan horse for the NSA.

NIST discontinued that formula, called Dual Elliptic Curve, and asked its external advisory board and a special panel of experts to make recommendations that were published on Monday alongside more stinging conclusions by the individual experts.

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This article was posted: Tuesday, July 15, 2014 at 9:49 am





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