It began with a Reuters story from Joe Menn: Exclusive: Secret contract tied NSA and security industry pioneer in which it was disclosed that RSA, the crypto pioneer and security products vendor, had allegedly accepted a secret $10 million payment from the NSA in order to incorporate a backdoor in to their BSafe crypto suite.
There is a rising tide of anger growing within the security community against the appalling depth and breadth of the NSA’s surveillance programs. Many technology vendors have been implicated recently including RSA, Cisco, Juniper, Dell and hard drive manufacturers. Yet RSA is the first to be nailed with apparent direct complicity and it is beginning to experience fallout.
Mikko Hyponnen, a highly respected security researcher worldwide, and Chief Research Officer for Helsinki based F-Secure, was the first to suggest that he would boycott the largest security industry event of the year, the RSA Conference in San Francisco in February. In an open letter to the leaders of RSA, now the security division of EMC, he stated: