RSA is one of the most prestigious encryption companies around the globe. A report from Reuters now reveals that NSA paid RSA a whopping $10 million to include backdoors in its products so that NSA could exploit them.
NSA specifically asked RSA to include flawed security protocols in its encryption products. The backdoor was meant to serve the agency whenever it wanted to hack into the system of anyone using these products.
The revelation comes as a huge shock for many because RSA has conventionally been synonymous with digital privacy and security. The company has long been a champion in the arena of encryption products and has been the primary choice of many privacy-conscious users.
It no longer seems to be the case. RSA has long been acquired by EMC Corp and the company has gradually moved away from its original focus of creating the best encryption tools.
In the past, RSA has fought off the government’s efforts of reading into the public encryption tools. For instance, during the Clinton administration, RSA launched a massive campaign against the government’s intent of shipping phones with spying components. This, RSA argued, would immediately fail such a product in the international market.
Ironically enough, this is precisely what is happening now. As the news of RSA’s covert collusion with NSA become public thanks to the documents leaked by Snowden, companies are already planning to give up on RSA products and shift to other alternatives. This certainly serves the company right which had been trusted by countless users and major technology companies but decided to toss that trust out of the window.
This should also serve as an example to other tech companies that shall they decide to collude secretly with the authorities, sooner or later their dishonest conduct will be laid bare and that will be a PR nightmare for them.