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[ISN] RSA brushes off crypto research findings that RSA algorithm is flawed


By Ellen Messmer
Network World
February 16, 2012

After having its flagship RSA crypto system called flawed this week by prominent researchers in a paper they made available online, EMC's RSA security division struck back by saying the paper's results don't indicate a fundamental flaw in the RSA algorithm but more likely a problem with implementing it.

"On Feb. 14th, a research paper was submitted for publication stating that an alleged flaw has been found in the RSA encryption algorithm," RSA said Thursday in a statement. "Our analysis confirms to us that the data does not point to a flaw in the algorithm, but instead points to the importance of proper implementation, especially regarding the exploding number of embedded devices that are connected to the Internet today."

Ari Juels, chief scientist for RSA, told Network World that "the study is useful" as it pertains to the "failures of crypto protocols during random-number generation." But he faults its core idea that the RSA algorithm is somehow fundamentally flawed.

"I'd say all cryptography relies on good true random-number generation. And when that goes wrong, the protocol breaks," Juels says. He faults the conclusions of the paper that there was something intrinsically wrong with the RSA algorithm. The paper might have found that the RSA algorithm "might be a little less robust than another one," but "it's obviously not a problem with the RSA algorithm, it's the way the keys were generated."


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