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Microsoft's Code Contribution Due To GPL Violation 508

ozmanjusri writes "While Microsoft presented its recent embrace of the GPL as 'a break from the ordinary,' and the press spoke of them as going to great lengths to engage the open source community,' as is often the case with Microsoft, it turns out they had an ulterior motive. According to Stephen Hemminger, an engineer with Vyatta, Microsoft's Hyper-V used open-source components in a network driver and the company released the code to avoid legal action over a GPL violation. Microsoft's decision to embrace the GPL was welcomed by many in the open source community, but their failure to honestly explain the reason behind the release will have squandered this opportunity to build trust, something which is sadly lacking in most people's dealings with Microsoft."

New NSA-Approved Encryption Standard May Contain Backdoor 322

Hugh Pickens writes "Bruce Schneier has a story on Wired about the new official standard for random-number generators the NIST released this year that will likely be followed by software and hardware developers around the world. There are four different approved techniques (pdf), called DRBGs, or 'Deterministic Random Bit Generators' based on existing cryptographic primitives. One is based on hash functions, one on HMAC, one on block ciphers and one on elliptic curves. The generator based on elliptic curves called Dual_EC_DRBG has been championed by the NSA and contains a weakness that can only be described as a backdoor. In a presentation at the CRYPTO 2007 conference (pdf) in August, Dan Shumow and Niels Ferguson showed that there are constants in the standard used to define the algorithm's elliptic curve that have a relationship with a second, secret set of numbers that can act as a kind of skeleton key. If you know the secret numbers, you can completely break any instantiation of Dual_EC_DRBG."

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