Cryptography

16/09/2013 § Hinterlasse einen Kommentar

The more recent publications, presenting the systematic undermining of cryptographic solutions and standards, are the cause of much more substantial worry. Some of the leading UK researchers in the field of cryptography and computer security feel compelled to comment on the recent revelations.

The UK and US governments recently dramatically increased the funding available to various agencies to help protect their countries against Cyber Attack. Such attacks are now commonplace on both corporations, and individuals. Now all rely on cryptography to secure mobile phones, credit cards, internet communications etc. and because of this they welcome the government’s prioritization of this area in an era of fiscal squeeze. As researchers in security they understand that the NSA and GCHQ are tasked with conducting operations for purposes of national security.

However, the documents released show that NSA and GCHQ worked to weaken international cryptographic standards, and to place „backdoors“ into security products; such backdoors could of course be potentially exploited by others than the original creators. One of the prime missions of the security services is to protect citizens and corporations from Cyber Attack. By weakening cryptographic standards, in as yet undisclosed ways, and by inserting weaknesses into products which they all rely on to secure critical infrastructure, they believe that the agencies have been acting against the interests of the public that they are meant to serve.

It is shocking that agencies of both the US and UK governments now stand accused of undermining the systems which protect us. By weakening all security so that they can listen in to the communications of our enemies, they also weaken our security against our potential enemies.

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