[cryptography] NSA's position in the dominance stakes

Paul Hoffman paul.hoffman at vpnc.org
Mon Nov 15 17:52:41 EST 2010


At 9:21 AM +1100 11/16/10, Ian G wrote:
>It used to be said that the NSA employed more mathematicians than the rest of the world put together.  This was sort of a comment on their dominance in cryptography.  Is this factoid still the case?
>
>And, could it be said that the NSA employs more IT Sec people than anyone else?
>
>I'm trying to come up with some sort of view as to how leading or powerful the NSA's influence is on the infosec world.  For example, they are currently pushing out the humble 1024 bit RSA key (via their open partner NIST).

NSA !!= NIST

The NSA has a stated goal to get more people to use Suite B, which does not include RSA of any key size. NIST is pushing for larger RSA key sizes, while making Suite B an "option".

>  In this case, the documentation clearly states it is for USA government agencies only, but it seems open players like Mozilla with completely different security agendas are tripping over themselves to follow NSA's guidance.

I don't see Suite B in Mozilla products yet.

--Paul Hoffman, Director
--VPN Consortium



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