What do the world’s greatest cryptographers think about the current state of information security? At a panel at the RSA Conference Feb. 25, the discussion began with the National Security Agency (NSA) disclosures about surveillance of Americans.
Adi Shamir, professor in the computer science department at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and the “S” in RSA, said he was not surprised by the NSA disclosures. “Everyone assumed that the NSA has lots of tools and abilities,” Shamir said. “Tactically, the disclosure is a treasure trove, and it is fascinating to read about the exploits.”
Whitfield Diffie, who currently serves on the advisory board at SafeLogic, said he was disturbed by the revelation that the NSA would attempt to tamper with security standards in order to gain advantage. “I grew up in an era where I believed the government was 100 percent interested in the security of American communications,” Diffie said.