Friday, September 6, 2013

NSA uses supercomputers to crack Web encryption and "insert vulnerabilities into commercial encryption systems"...

The spy agencies have focused on compromising encryption found in Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), virtual private networks (VPNs) and 4G smartphones and tablets. The NSA spent $255 million this year on the decryption program — code named Bullrunwhich aims to "covertly influence" software designs and "insert vulnerabilities into commercial encryption systems" that would be known only to the agency.

Bruce Schneier, a security technologist, examined the documents before they were published and authored an analysis for the Guardian. He told USA TODAY that they are the biggest revelations yet from the documents leaked by Snowden and said they show NSA has "subverted" much of the Internet and tech companies that form its backbone.

"They fundamentally undermine the social contract of the Internet — which is that you get what you think you get and it works,'' Schneier said. "An agency has subverted vast swaths of this to turn the Internet into a surveillance engine. Now the Internet doesn't do what people thought it did.''

"They've done it through secret agreements with companies, so essentially all the companies you deal with on the Internet have been lying to you. They have basically sucked the trust out of the Internet — the NSA and these companies. It's a public-private partnership to turn the internet into a surveillance engine.''

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