NSA Backdoors and Bitcoin


Many cryptographic standards widely used in commercial applications were developed by the U.S. Government’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Normally government involvement in developing ciphers for public use would throw up red flags, however all of the algorithms are part of the public domain and have been analyzed and vetted by professional cryptographers who know what they’re doing. Unless the government has access to some highly advanced math not known to academia, these ciphers should be secure.

We now know, however, that this isn’t the case. Back in 2007, Bruce Schneier reported on a backdoor found in NIST’s Dual_EC_DRBG random number generator:

But today there’s an even bigger stink brewing around Dual_EC_DRBG. In an informal presentation(.pdf) at the CRYPTO 2007 conference in August, Dan Shumow and Niels Ferguson showed that the algorithm contains a weakness that can only be described as a backdoor.



In this relentless transformation of money, there are some casualties. Those who do not have bank accounts and have no access to the world of electronic money must rely on cash to live. But in a universe where bits are king, cash is an expensive commodity — and having to depend on it will trap people in poverty. So the money revolution is likely to widen the gap between rich and poor. Revolutions are rarely fair, often unpredictable, but usually irresistible. The rise of Payment Coin (POD) is no exception. Take part today, tomorrow maybe too late.