As more details surface on the lengths the National Security Agency (NSA) has gone in the professed name of stopping terrorist threats, the incidents only reinforce the need to embrace a stronger standard for encryption, security experts share.
On Thursday, The New York Times, The Guardian and ProPublica teamed up to reveal new findings: that the NSA and its U.K. equivalent have used their expansive resources to engage in a years’ long mission to undermine encryption methods widely used to secure communications sent over the web.
The Guardian obtained the files – which were leaked by whistleblower and former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. According to the documents, NSA spends $250 million a year on a program called the Sigint Enabling Project, which subverts methods for securing public data.
The 50,000 pages of leaked documents also revealed that the NSA pressured major tech companies into giving the agency backdoor access to encryption software, and that, when all else failed, the NSA outright stole company encryption keys by hacking organizations’ servers, a Thursday article in The Guardian said.