Published on April 23rd, 2014 📆 | 6815 Views ⚑


NIST Finally Removes NSA-Compromised Crypto Algorithm

Back in December, Edward Snowden leaks revealed that RSA received $10 million bribe from NSA under a secret contract to implement their flawed cryptographic algorithm Dual_EC_DRBG in its bSafe Security tool as the default protocol in its products for keeping Encryption Weak.

In response to the accusations on NSA and RSA, and despite RSA denied all the accusations. without wasting time NIST issued an announcement recommending against using Dual_EC_DRBG and abandon the cryptographic algorithm from its revised guidance provided in the Recommendation for Random Number Generation Using Deterministic Random Bit Generators (NIST Special Publication 800-90A, Rev.1).

But it didn't remove it from its random number generator recommendations so that researchers could further examine the encryption standard and its overall strength.

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We want to assure the IT cyber security community that the transparent, public process used to rigorously vet our standards is still in place. NIST would not deliberately weaken a cryptographic standard,” NIST officials stated previously.

If vulnerabilities are found in these or any other NIST standards, we will work with the cryptographic community to address them as quickly as possible.”

NIST also recommended users who are still working with Dual EC random number generator to move on to any of the three remaining approved algorithms in the publication like Hash_DRBG, HMAC_DRBG, or CTR_DRBG.
There is something important for vendors too: NIST recommends the vendors currently using Dual_EC_DRBG in their products but want to remain in compliance with federal guidance should select an alternative algorithm and not wait for further revision of the revised document and they also provided a list of cryptographic modules including Dual_EC_DRBG.
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Most of these modules implement more than one random number generator. In some cases, the Dual_EC_DRBG algorithm may be listed as included in a product, but another approved algorithm may be used by default,” NIST said. “If a product uses Dual_EC_DRBG as the default random number generator, it may be possible to reconfigure the product to use a different default algorithm.
NIST is seeking final public comments on the Special Publication 800-90A of its Recommendation for Random Number Generation Using Deterministic Random Bit Generators document until May 23, 2014, by then the public comment period will close.

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