Computer Business Review

RSA rejects allegation of being tied up with NSA

by CBR Staff Writer| 24 December 2013

RSA was allegedly paid $10m (£6.1m) by the NSA to integrate a random number generator.

Security firm RSA has rejected claims that it entered into a 'secret contract' with the US spying agency NSA to slot in a flawed random number generator into its BSAFE encryption libraries.

In addition, the security division of EMC 'categorically' refuted the allegation that the flaw unlocked a backdoor into any product in which it was deployed.

RSA said in a statement that the company has 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," the security firm said.

"Our explicit goal has always been to strengthen commercial and government security."

Earlier, RSA was allegedly paid $10m (£6.1m) by the NSA to integrate a random number generator, dubbed the 'Dual Elliptic Curve Deterministic Random Bit Generator' (Dual EC DRBG), which had since been found to unlock a backdoor into any software in which it was integrated.

According to the documents released by whistleblower Edward Snowden, there were some backdoors in some technologies RSA, and other firms incorporated in their products.

A research in 2007 disclosed the vulnerability of the number generator, which if exploited would allow snooping agencies to access the data it was thought to help protect.

RSA added: "We also categorically state that we have never entered into any contract or engaged in any project with the intention of weakening RSA's products, or introducing potential 'backdoors' into our products for anyone's use."

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