Sunday, August 18, 2019

Tag Archives: NSA

NSA secretly funding code-breaking quantum computer

The NSA is funding quantum computer work that it hopes will allow it to break virtually any encryption used today, The Washington Post reports — though there’s no sign it’s managed to crack the puzzle better than any of the other companies or agencies working on the same thing. Leaks from Edward Snowden reveal a $79.7 million research program called “Penetrating Hard Targets,” including classified funding to research a quantum computer that could be used for cryptography. The Post says that much of the research is being done at the University of Maryland’s Laboratory for Physical Sciences, but not much more is revealed about the program, including how far quantum computing work has actually progressed. Quantum computing hinges, very broadly, on allowing individual bits (called qubits) to contain superimposed values of zero and one, vastly increasing computing power. Its implications for cryptography, medicine, and research have made it a major goal for public services and …

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NSA targeting domestic computer systems in secret test

The National Security Agency’s Perfect Citizen program hunts for vulnerabilities in “large-scale” utilities, including power grid and gas pipeline controllers, new documents from EPIC show. Newly released files show a secret National Security Agency program is targeting the computerized systems that control utilities to discover security vulnerabilities, which can be used to defend the United States or disrupt the infrastructure of other nations. The NSA’s so-called Perfect Citizen program conducts “vulnerability exploration and research” against the computerized controllers that control “large-scale” utilities including power grids and natural gas pipelines, the documents show. The program is scheduled to continue through at least September 2014. The Perfect Citizen files obtained by the Electronic Privacy Information Center and provided to CNET shed more light on how the agency aims to defend — and attack — embedded controllers. The NSA is reported to have developed Stuxnet, which President Obama secretly ordered to be used …

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