NSA Backdoors and Bitcoin

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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.

https://chrispacia.wordpress.com/2013/10/30/nsa-backdoors-and-bitcoin/

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